Technology in the Classroom: iPad

  • There are many choices when it comes to using technology in the classroom. One that many schools and educators are embracing is the iPad.

    iPad in the classroom has grown in popularity. And there are many reasons why. Mobile devices continue to make inroads into the modern-day classroom, but some teachers say iPad is in a class by itself. Advocates say the touch-screen technology is simple enough for even young children to master.  Additionally, it is mobile, powerful, light and comes packed with apps for any grade level. The portable format, long battery life and fast load-up time have made it possible for the iPad to be used easily in the classroom.

    iPad’s creator, Apple, has spent a lot of time designing specific tools for teachers and classrooms. iPad works because it is simple to use. It enables teachers to create hands-on learning experiences that can easily be customized. That, combined with the fact there are many apps and books geared toward any subject area make it a powerful tech tool. Teachers can develop their own interactive materials and deliver lessons with iTunes U.

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    How do teachers use iPad in the classroom?

    For some educators, the main advantage of students having an iPad has been improved communication. Resources like a dictionary and thesaurus are readily available. Children can submit their homework by e-mail, or through the school’s virtual learning environment.

    Students can sign in with their iPad. That means that there is a centralized record of which children are in school, and which classroom they are in, that every teacher has access to.

    Students also learn more efficiently with the iPad. Feedback from tests and homework is immediate.

    Although not all teachers are convinced, those that have embraced technology for education, say tools like the iPad are an additional asset to traditional teaching methods and not a replacement.

    The push for technology in the classroom

    When it comes to technology in the classroom, Apple is still behind Google and Microsoft. The company, however, has made some changes to iPad, such as stylus support aimed at teachers and students. The company has also developed a “more-affordable” iPad.

    But the iPad has its benefits. iPads have been used for special education teachers working with children who might need more accommodation. A backlit screen, for example, is easier to read for visually impaired students.

    Some teachers say the inherent interactive features of an iPad are far more likely to engage both students who have an aversion to more traditional teaching methods, and those with attention challenges.

    An online professional development course is the first step

    For those who see the advantages of technology in the classroom, an online professional development course is the place to start.  A self-paced online professional development course will teach you tips and tricks and the best ways for you to use iPads in the classroom.

    Through an iPad-specific course, educators will explore best practices, promising apps, and implementation strategies; all while gaining access to rich content to support students and enhancing your instructional practice.

    Interested teachers will learn to identify best practices for the integration of iPads in the classroom. They will also explore promising apps for the iPad and determine implementation strategies. Plans for everyday use of the iPad to promote student achievement will also be developed.

    A professional development course will teach you how to access and evaluate learning resources and educational apps while creating media-rich content using the iPad. In addition, you will learn to develop short lessons that utilize the iPad and create samples for each to use with students while earning 3 Semester Credits/Units.

    Develop a learning center that relies on the iPad. What are you waiting for?