Wednesday, June 6, 2012

iPads in Class

iPad Use in Class

There were multiple benefits to having the iPads in class this year. One of the biggest benefits was having a digital textbook. We had Huck Finn on the iPad so we could leave the book at home and have the iPad version in class. It was very convenient and it would be great to have that on a more expansive level. We also had access to the Internet which was an invaluable resource. We could use the iPad to work on a project and then send it to ourselves and work on it at home. We were able to define our words and update our blogs through the Internet which saved a lot of time. The iPads were definitely a huge improvement upon the laptops we had at the beginning of the year.

The iPads were very helpful but there were some limitations. The keyboard is definitely not at the same level as a desktop or laptop lacking several important keys such as the tab key. The laptop is missing several important programs that are useful for writing. Alternatives such as Evernote are insufficient compared to programs like word and it is hard to avoid just doing all the typing at home. The iPad also has the autocorrect which causes as many problems as it solves. I have had countless times when I was typing and I had to re-write a word multiple times to get the word I wanted. Autocorrect is definitely not on the same level as spell check on word.

I think the district should definitely try to go to a 1:1 program for students and iPads. It would reduce the need for textbooks as digital ones could be placed on the iPad. Students' lockers would be much cleaner and their backpacks would be lighter. The district could save money on physical text and reduce clutter. Turn in would be easy, students would just hand in one book instead of ten, and because of the how important it is students would be less likely to forget their iPads. Students could also connect to the internet at all times and it would another resource for the class. Students could do work and takes notes on the laptop reducing or completely ending the need for notebooks which would also take up space in lockers and backpacks. If would be better for students, teachers, and the district if there was a 1:1 ratio of students to iPads.

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