The MS has been using iPads for the past five years exploring how to best use these tools for the benefit of our students. Teachers and students have experimented with all versions of the iPads. Usage has been piloted in specific subject areas as well with specific student groups. As a result, the teachers are better informed about best practices.
Although iPads have incredible educational potential because of their ubiquity, connectivity, and availability of a world of Apps, finding time to incorporate their use into the day-to-day life of the classroom and curriculum unit plans continues to present a challenge to teachers. Both students and teachers’ levels of digital literacy also impact usage.In the same way that one-to-one laptop program ensured effective integration, perhaps having a higher quantity of iPad units available would increase the probability of their integration into curriculum design as well.
Despite our teachers and students’ apprehension to frequently use iPads as technical tools, there is a plethora of educational apps that support learning. The Apple Pencil, a game changer, awakens productivity and creativity giving users opportunities to capture and use media as well as to collaborate. Note Taking is an endless scroll of space with full colour, image, video and linkage support just a flick away from a browser. It captures, enlarges, projects, and enables students and teachers to annotate submitted work at the touch of a screen. Teachers need no longer turn on a separate visualiser and struggle to stretch cables to a desired location when using Note Taking.
Here is what the teachers say about iPads:
“The best scenario would be to have students each with own iPad so that they could consistently use different apps linked to all of their learning systems more effectively.”
“iPads brings more possibilities to learn in an interactive way and make students more engaged in learning Chinese”
“Students using an iPad has the greatest impact as they collaborate in teams to record thinking and ideas efficiently and meaningfully”
“Useful for me to take quick snap-shots of students in progress and then follow-up with evidence during conference times.”
“Great for math teachers, or any teacher, to annotate a process, or allow students to share their process.”
“Notes Plus which has been helpful in documenting conference times and notes about student. The app is helpful as I am able to categorise classes and students really easily and add pages as I need. Everything in one place and easy to manage!”