(Education) Why the iPad Absolutely Matters

Discussion in 'iPad Reviews' started by 4phun, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. 4phun
    Offline

    4phun iPad Junkie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Messages:
    738
    Thanks Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Marietta, GA - USA
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0
    April 13th, 2010

    Why the iPad Absolutely Matters - Guest post


    Posted by Christopher Dawson @ 11:04 am


    The following is a guest post by Matthew E. Rich, Ed. D., a principal at an elementary school in suburban Chicago. It’s a great perspective from progressive educator. It’s a bit longer than my usual posts, but well worth the read. Check back tonight for my response and take on the iPad in education, now a week into existence.
    The most persistent question regarding the Apple iPad is why is it needed. I have a laptop, I have an iPod touch or iPhone, a netbook is cheaper with a wider range of capacities, so why is the iPad necessary. One of the greatest challenges Zdnet readers and authors have is that we are so ingrained what the hardware and software is that we often forget that it is the client that needs to apply these seamlessly and smoothly in their work and home environment. As an educational administrator for the last eleven years, and principal of an elementary school for the past seven, I have worked in both Microsoft and Apple school districts. During this time I have had students and staff work with desktops, laptops, and tablet PCs. Yet after spending three clock hours on the iPad, it is clearly a game changer for education.
    Here is why:
    For Teachers and Support Staff:
    Progress Monitoring Student Performance:
    Education has become a field that requires teachers to manage a extremely large amount of data. Furthermore, teachers are asked to differentiate the learning opportunities for students so that each child may master a different essential outcome in the curriculum at a different time. Teachers can email their current class list to their iPad and in less than ten minutes create a spreadsheet on Numbers develop a date list with ranking fields and comment boxes for the 10-15 components that their children need to learn in an essential outcome. While this is no different than a regular computer, the game changer is in the implementation of the progress monitoring. With the iPad, teachers can now easily walk around and record the information on an ongoing basis. Have you ever watched a teacher rotate around the room to observe student work with a netbook or laptop? It is cumbersome and artificial. The focus is always in the end on the hardwar e and not the student work. There is a stop point at which they need to put the machine down and type in it. With the weight, design, and simple kinesthetic input, teachers literally can input 3-4 taps and have recorded all of the student’s information while maintaining focus and providing verbal feedback to the child. This scenario goes further with the support staff. The most challenging component for students’ behaviorally in school is the unstructured setting, specifically the lunch and recess. As a requirement of special education laws and the Response To Intervention initiatives, having authentic and accurate data streams is now paramount. Currently, teacher associates record student behaviors on paper and clipboards in the lunchroom and on the playground. Someone else (namely me the principal), records this information into our spreadsheet to monitor data performance. Why? Try bringing a laptop onto the playground. In this setting both size matters and simplicity matter. The teacher associates in my school played with the forms on Numbers for ten minutes and realized they could simply and efficiently record data in a non-cumbersome way. This will save me time as an educational leader and allow them to take ownership of the behavioral data.


    For Students:
    Learning Styles:
    There are three learning modalities that students work through: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. All technology options provide fantastic visual and auditory learning opportunities. However, of the three technology options presented: desktops, laptops/netbooks, and the iPad, it is the only one that addresses all three modalities. Students are entering a world of virtual kinesthetics in which they can now manipulate information by touch and control spatial design. For example, my six-year-old son has difficulty with fine motor control. When I questioned his first grade teacher when the last time he had drawn her a picture was, she couldn’t remember. Utilizing Doodle Buddy (free app), he was selecting to do pictures on his own. Touch matters! Having direct control of the art and the canvas, he was self-selecting to visually create. Furthermore, when speaking to his principal, she expressed concerned about the second grade unit on symmetry. During the course of the year, the students spend four to six weeks on this concept with a lot of drawing and cutting. The touch capacity of the iPad changes that. The manipulation, rotation, mirroring, flipping all available within the device will allow the child to demonstrate the learning of this concept in a whole new way. And more importantly, each new iteration of the concept can be saved as a picture and easily emailed straight to the teacher.
    Learning of Content:
    Getting students on the same page is a challenge in the classroom. Each child moves at a different rate. Some students are ready in ten seconds and students take nearly ninety seconds to get their books and materials ready. The iPad changes this. In the morning, a teacher could email out to her class (one address as she would have her class in a group) the different passages that they were going to discuss during that day. The children could simply tap on these passages within the email and be brought directly to that e-book to discuss the material. Furthermore, the teacher could email out questions or a worksheet, once again one address, and each child could respond individually and email back their work to the teacher. Any laptop, netbook, or desktop could do this. Here is where operating system does matter and the iPad OS is a game changer, try teaching an eight-year-old to consistently save their work or to attach a file in a different mail client. T his process adds multiple steps and takes time for our fifth graders to demonstrate consistently, not just our third graders. In Pages, Doodle Buddy, or countless other programs, the work is automatically saved and with 3 clicks within the program themselves, the mail is generated and sent to the teacher. The process is seamless and natural.
    Digital Portfolios:
    For years, schools have tried to develop digital portfolios of student work. As demonstrated in the learning of content section, the teacher is receiving most of the child’s work through a digital modality now instead of by paper. Simply the teacher can maintain folders of student work emailed back and has created a digital portfolio of the students’ work samples throughout the year. There is no more scanning or digital cameras necessary to record work. No more uploading. It is all right there in the digital format that can easily be shared with parents, students, or their colleagues during collaborative discussions of student performance.
    Organization:
    Schools still use assignment notebooks. Children still look at a daily schedule and muddle through piles of papers and books. Lost work and late work still occur. Parents still have to run back to school for the book or worksheet their child left. The iPad changes this. Here is where being both an e-reader and a tool for productivity go hand in hand. The iPad becomes the textbook, the worksheets, the schedule, and the assignment notebook. Instead of bringing home, or now as many school districts are doing because of the weight and injuries resulting from backpacks having a second set of textbooks at home, the iPad and its one and a half pounds are traveling back and forth. Weigh a child’s backpack, it is frequently 20 to 40 pounds. The iPad simply isn’t. With the iPad, it functions as a kinesthetic e-reader of textbooks and allows for the student capacity to effectively produce work utilizing word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations, and submit work via email. Lost assignments go away because it is either on the iPad or has been submitted to the teacher that night via email. This is huge for parents, students, and teachers. Furthermore, for children demonstrating difficulties for with transitions or recording homework, the parent and teacher could sync with their calendar and tasks allowing for monitoring that the child has the correct homework recorded. Finally, for many students, because it is typed in, they can read what their homework is as opposed to the illegible scrawl in their assignment notebook.
    Assistive Learning:
    In the Organization section I noted that a student would type in their homework tasks. However, this is not necessary. Utilizing Dragon Dictation, a free application, children could speak their homework into the iPad and with a few taps enter this into their tasks window. They could speak longer responses and have Dragon Dictation convert larger amounts of information into text that could be copy and pasted easily into pages. For students with CP and other disorders in which their mind is fine but they don’t have the capacity to move, it allows in a very inexpensive model for the students work to be recorded and converted to text. For all individuals it makes life easier, but now instead of the adult scribing the child’s response, Dragon Dictation does it for them. While this child is an extreme situation, all children could benefit by having multiple choices for data entry, thus we can focus on their understanding of the concept rather than the form of the product.


    For Directors of Educational Technology and Administrators:
    Time: I have worked in both Windows and Mac districts. The current district that I work in is a Mac district. I am sure some network engineer can talk all about the wonderful differences between the two. However, in a fifty-minute class, it takes eight minutes to boot up and start a program on a Windows machine, two minutes for a Mac, and 30 seconds for an iPad. Learning time matters and the iPad is simply the best. Furthermore, battery life matters. Between in-class learning and homework, in an ideal world a student would need a maximum of seven hours of on-time for one to one interaction. This includes all functions of learning. Desktops, laptops, and netbooks often can’t do this. The proposed HP Slate looks to have a five-hour battery. Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook can but only function as an e-reader. The iPad is the only device that can meet this requirement of functionality.
    Cost:
    In my current district we are a Mac laptop district with approximately a 1 computer to 3 students ration. Each Macbook is approximately twice the cost of an iPad. This does not include carts. For approximately $50,000 more, during our normal replacement cycle move to a 1 computer to 1 student ratio in a school of 500 students. Cost savings would occur in licensing fees (Microsoft Office Suite compared to Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for the iPad) as well as other programs found at a far less inexpensive level at the iPad and the iPhone/iPod touch level, no longer purchasing or reduced purchasing of assignment notebooks, whiteboard slates for the classroom, geometry templates for the math classes, copy paper reduction, copy machine repair, and textbooks for the home.
    Computer Set-up:
    Regardless of the system, there are frequent times in which network techs need to touch every computer. In every system, the tech creates a model and transmits it to the computer. Frequently this still needs to be done at some point via wire. In the iPad sync model, the tech creates one profile, quickly brings it to the class and is able to put that model onto all of the computers far quicker than with a laptop or netbook.
    Things that the iPad can improve on:
    The iPad is certainly not a perfect device, however is by far the best option in general when compared to the desktops, laptops, netbooks, e-readers, and tablets either currently on the market or proposed to be on the market. Multitasking: The lack of multi-tasking does hurt. It would be wonderful for a child to seamlessly move items from Dragon Dictation to a productivity software such as Pages, Numbers, Keynote, or Calendar. Task Management: A native task manager such as the one on ICal would be a game changer in terms of homework implementation and native syncing of tasks. Typing: Better availability of cases that allow students to type at an angle. Children, and many adults, have absolutely no problem with the iPad keyboard. Many of them are already familiar with it from their parents or their own iPhone or iPod touch. They simply need to be able to at their desks, work tables, or on the floor be able to type at an angle in order to see the screen if necessary. Sometimes one can type in their lap, this would make life a lot easier as an option.
    Conclusions:
    The iPad not only fulfills a wide-range of functions in the school setting but does it in a manner we have not previously seen. The elegance and simplicity of the machine allow for short training times while providing a level of technology integration simply unmatched by any other product on the market. Who would have thought in 1983 when my parents brought home our first Apple IIe for nearly $2000 that 27 years later I would be spending $598 for a 16gb iPad with Apple Care for my child? Think of the difference in investments and ask yourself is their any real device that can compete with the iPad for students and staff currently in the market space. If so, I want to see it.

    [​IMG]
    Follow Chris Dawson on Twitter! Christopher Dawson is the technology director for the Athol-Royalston School District in northern Massachusetts and a member of the Internet Press Guild. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations, but always keep in mind that the opinions expressed here are his own and not those of his daytime employer, even if he talks incessantly about his day job. They aren't even the opinions of ZDNet or CBS Interactive. They're just his.
    Email Christopher Dawson

    Subscribe to ZDNet Education via Email alerts or RSS.


    The above post can be found along with over a hundred ZDNet reader comments at...
    Why the iPad Absolutely Matters - Guest post | Education IT | ZDNet.com
  2. Caps
    Offline

    Caps iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    60
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Wow
  3. henry2
    Offline

    henry2 iPad Junkie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    800
    Thanks Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    westcoast
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0
    i bought the very same statement on another website about the same thing ..

    what i bought up was think about this statement .. what i basic said was you kid picks up a bag which has a ipad along with protable folding keyboard unit for data input for school units along with screen cleaning cloth and a power cord and notebook along with pens for notetakeing in the classroom all packed into a daypack for daily school use ..

    think about the wieght the child no longer has to carry on themselfs
  4. MTCason
    Offline

    MTCason iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Oh to be a kid again in an iPad educational setting! If this is the future of education, I envy our children and grandchildren.
  5. AbblePC
    Offline

    AbblePC iPad Fan

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    281
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Pa. USA
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0
    Wow is right, great piece written here on educational possibilities with the iPad, along with the right apps, this is the same motivational talk i've been giving school authorities as I make my rounds as an IT Printer and Telephony Tech. Many of which look on in wonderment but yet look as though its a mere dream not a possible reality. It's this thinking that has to change and is why your article is also so inviting.

    My cousin is an Attendance Officer as well as Athletic Director for my Alma Mater and this is certainly where I would love to branch my business to next. Creating avenues as well as esthetics created to perform these very things with the right apps designed purely with education in mind.
  6. ayerbusiness
    Offline

    ayerbusiness iPF Novice

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    68
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Philippines
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    iPad really matters when it comes to education because it compresses a lot of books inside a computer tablet. You don't have to bring a lot of books because you can search the materials that you will be needing in your magnificent iPad.
  7. MLimtiaco
    Offline

    MLimtiaco iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    33
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Snohomish WA USA
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    My son's 6th grade teacher studied educational technology for her degree. She fiddled with my iPad for a few minutes and immediately said, "This IS the desk of the future." Can you imagine the desktop - literally, the top of the student's desk - used as we use iPad today? And imagine the possibilities for software, let alone the need for an IT infrastructure that can handle 20-25 of these iDesks in each classroom. The industry awaits...
  8. Elvenstar
    Offline

    Elvenstar iPF Noob

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Singapore
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Hi all,

    Very excited to share that my school is embarking in a pilot project to create iPad classes for High school students. Looking to develop lessons to change the way students learn. Please share with me your suggestions as to how lessons can be carried in class for any subjects. I hope to share our studies too so that we as educators can value-add to the learning of our students... :D
  9. AkainePSP
    Offline

    AkainePSP iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0
    Wish we could get ipads for use in all of our special ed rooms.....
  10. Hasty
    Offline

    Hasty iPad Ninja

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,282
    Thanks Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Location
    Ratings:
    +22 / 0
  11. Biggysmallz
    Offline

    Biggysmallz iPad Fan

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    I am already a convert on how the ipad can enhance the education process.
    The apps would have to be better developed though. For example, Dragon Dictation isn't all that accurate especially in a classroom situation with background noise.

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

benefits of ipad in special education classroom

,

benefits of ipads in the special education classroom

,
i pad implementation steps for elementary
,
in education why staff input matters
,
ipad apps for athletic directors
,
ipad elementary teacher learning outcome
,
ipad in schools monitoring safety
,
ipad is a game changer in elementary education
,
ipad or tablet for special education?
,
monitor the implementation of ipad on site
,
progress monitoring elementary ipad
,
special education
,
special education progress monitoring on the ipad
,
the advantage of using an ipad for special education classroom
,
use of doddle
,
using ipads in special ed classes
,
what is the hope for havingan ipad in a preschool sped class
,

why are ipads good for special education

,
why i-pads cost saving than textbook
,
why ipads in the elementary classroom?