Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Using Ipads in the classroom

Our district is considering Ipads, as are most school districts, I'm sure.  A district close to us provided Ipads to all their juniors and seniors through a grant and people are watching closely to see the results. I've seen studies that go both ways on the use of the devices.  Most seem to show an improvement in students' learning--these are "digital natives" after all, but I've also seen some studies that suggest if the Ipads do not belong to the students personally, they don't have as much invested in the use of the device.  So everyone around is watching this pilot program to see the results.  The district hasn't decided if the students can have the devices when they graduate yet.  I guess they would be able to purchase them at a reduced cost?  I don't know what their plans are.  Here's a blog that the district is keeping to show the progress of the pilot program. 

But what to do with them is my biggest question.  I know you have the Kindle app and there's Project Gutenberg.  But there's lots more teachers and librarians can do with them.  This is a listing of 70 ways to use Ipads in the classroom--it's on a Google doc so you might have to sign into Google to see it.  Some of the suggestions are actually rather elementary, which for some reason surprised me.  I guess I'm so secondary oriented, I never thought of little kids using tablets.  Some of the suggestions are things like reading aloud to the students, practicing letter formations and making music. 

I'm curious where this will lead, especially after last week's announcement by Apple that they were getting into the textbook market through the Itunes store.  I need to read more about that so once I understand it better, I'll write some here.  But I am curious--how would you use an Ipad in your classroom right now with the apps available?

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