Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Journal #9 - First Graders with iPads?

Getting, S., & Swainey, K. (2012). First graders with iPads?. Learning & leading with technology, 24-27. Retrieved from www.iste.org/Store/Product.aspx?ID=2515.

This article focuses on an experiment in an elementary school in Minnesota, where teachers used iPads to try and teach students reading skills. The students used in the experiment were in the lowest reading group, and each student had a teacher with the whole time that they were using the iPad. The teachers utilized several educational apps which helped students in the areas of vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. While composing this research, the teachers had special ed teachers record data, and the data concluded that students were able to stay on task longer using the iPads, and they also found that the kids adapted to the iPads very quickly. The negatives included the high costs of the iPads, technical problems, noisy and missing apps, and limited subject matter. Many of these negatives seem to be associated that the teachers were also quite new to this technology, and should get better over time. I think that any technology which engages the kids and creates a fun learning environment is a good thing thing, and I hope to have access to iPads in my classroom.

Question 1: Are there any other potential negatives that the article didn't mention with using iPads in the classroom?

A. I think the problem eventually would be that its very easy for the students to go off-task such as checking their Facebook or Twitter. This was not a problem in this experiment because the students using iPads were always with teachers, but this is not feasible in larger classrooms.

Question 2: Why are you excited about iPads in the classroom?

A: I think that they will eventually take over textbooks. If we get every student an iPad, they can have all digital textbooks, and districts will no longer have to buy tons of books anymore (they will have to buy the digital edition, but this should be cheaper). It also saves kids from lugging around several large books to and from school, probably saving some backs in the process.

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