The IPad is the Apple’s tablet computer that comes with ios (apple mobile devices operating systems). It works with a built-in battery and charged with a USB plug. Touchscreen, virtual keyboard, camera, microphone and accelerometers are its sensors. IPads connect through Wi-Fi and are synced with one Apple ID on ITunes (Apple’s software) with a computer (PC Windows or Mac OS). It has included applications an important number of other applications are available on the App Store (free or not).
IPADS NOT TEACHERS
To use IPad for education you always have to keep in mind that your first goal is learning, not using technology. Lots of applications available on the App Store are really attractive for teachers and education oriented, this development is great and it makes lot of resources for different needs from those of an activity in the classroom to those of a businessman
However you do not put the IPad in class to replace teachers. A good example would be the idea of comics discussed in the last article. An App like Pixton is great to include Cartoons in your project, but Pixton (create a cartoon) is not a project on its own, same thing with IPads.
THERE IS A WAY
Of course, IPads can be used in the classroom. There are tons of websites to find activities ideas including iPads or ways to apply it to education. The crucial point to be efficient is in the teacher approach.
An important thing with classroom projects is the interest students the students have and the effort they put into it. This is where the IPads comes useful. If the project has a creative goal or concrete result such as web 2.0 contribution: blogs, virtual classroom, etc. (e.g. Edmodo) One of IPads most impressive features is how easily it can enable creativity. Students by themselves can create movie trailers, posters, create a report using their own pictures and sounds. They can be video editors, story writers, etc. The tools are often really simple and easy to use so that the creative process can be the focus and the product conception can be a simple IPad use. It becomes a source of motivation and brings students active engagement as many teachers report (see comments). In other words: The IPad tool gives the project meaning and concretion, students put more effort, they learn better.
The IPads are Wi Fi and a source of knowledge. If they need to know a definition or learn quickly about a subject they can find what they need over the web faster than you think. Not only is it a resources, it becomes a motivator and makes them feel independent. Not to forget that IPads are part of their daily life, it is new and cool; they believe in it as something “real”. The Wi Fi thing is also important when it comes to group work with all its different apps, you can share multiple types of content between IPads and create virtual environment (e.g. Edmodo) . With that in mind, you can require everyone to participate at some point in a learning process through IPads to give them feeling of accountability, responsibility or make them proud of what they do, even with more introverted students.
IPads are great in creative process and students’ creation. You can also use through the work process itself, and have them share their progress with peers or with the teacher to have frequent interactions and feedback. A good example is using a mind mapper, to plan a text, share the mind map and receive feedback to know if they are ready or on the right track.
Just make sure you don’t use it to replace the activity book (there are apps for that), and keep the IPad a magic tool.