Have iPads? Getting iPads? Confused a bit about how to actually use iPads?
You’re not alone. Tons of schools are jumping on the mobile tablet bandwagon. But they often jump on without giving teachers a whole lot of training. The infographic below – created by Tony Vincent and posted on his awesome Learning in Hand site – can be a jumpstart to learning more about how the iPad can impact teaching and learning. (Head over there and get the large six page version or a huge 24 page version.)
It highlights seven ways that you can use iPads in the classroom: Read more
At the recent EdTechTeacher iPad Summit held in Atlanta, Greg Kulowiec asked a simple question:
Is the iPad a solution or problem?
It’s a great question. There are tons of people jumping on the iPad bandwagon and I’ve suggested before that many of them are hopping on with their eyes closed. It’s a shiny tool that attracts a lot of attention. But is all of the attention a good thing? Greg says maybe not: Read more
We’re spending more time online, reading and researching with our students. We often need to print out these online resources for use as handouts or review materials. One of the problems with online research is that if you or your students print out a news article, a blog post, or just about anything on the web, the print job ends up being multiple pages that include ads and other things you don’t need.
And as more districts move to mobile devices such as iPads, the rules change even more. I often work with teachers and students who are struggling with how best to access and use online materials as learning tools. How can we use online resources such as primary source documents without using paper?
But wasting paper and time aren’t the only concerns. Ed tech folks often talk about the powerful impact that appropriate use of technology can have on learning, especially with online tools. The assumption is that web use by kids increases brain wiring—that being online makes students smarter. But we need to be careful with those sorts of assumptions.
A 2010 Wired article by Nicholas Carr does a great job of documenting what happens in our brains when we’re online. And it’s not always good. Carr discusses a wide range of research claiming that hyperlinks, especially those that live inside text, cause comprehension problems.
- “People who read linear text comprehend more, remember more, and learn more than those who read text peppered with links.”
- “It takes hypertext readers longer to read documents and they were seven times more likely to say they found it confusing.”
- “Comprehension declines as the number of links increase—whether or not people clicked on them.”
So while online resources are powerful tools for learning, they can waste paper, be awkward to use in a mobile environment, and decrease understanding if not used appropriately. What to do? Read more
I spent a lot of time over the last few weeks working with a ton of teachers. Great conversations. Lots of learning. And not just a little frustration on the part of the teachers.
Much of the frustration centered on their iPads.
Getting work from kids is too hard.
There’s too much I have to keep track of in terms of classroom management.
We can’t get the apps we need.
The tech people won’t open up the ports on the server so the iPads can talk with each other, printers and projection devices.
I get it. It’s not easy.
But I think many people, especially admin types, do expect it to be easy. They expect the iPad to revolutionize the educational world. Kids will love them. Teachers will love them. Test scores will go up. Behavior problems will go down.
You can almost see some assistant superintendent in his office, gleefully rubbing his hands together in anticipation:
This is the silver bullet we’ve all been waiting for.
Here’s a secret. iPads are not the silver bullet. Hardware and software won’t change education. Teachers and quality teaching will.
But . . .