Why More IT Directors and Teachers Are Choosing iPads For Classrooms
The adoption of iPads in classrooms isn't an overnight process. The device is a major investment for some school districts and can pose some questions for some educators. But many studies show that the device has many benefits and can benefit learning outcomes in all areas. Here, we take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of the iPad, as well as some challenges that educators may face.
The study found that teachers' attitudes toward iPad use in the classroom were similar to their responses in surveys and interviews conducted previously. The teachers' intentions were to use the technology to improve teaching and learning by fostering differentiated learning opportunities, promoting small group work, and minimizing disruptions. However, there were challenges teachers reported as well. While they reported that the use of iPads had helped them manage behavior, these teachers also acknowledged that their classrooms were still a work in progress.
In the study, teachers indicated that they are more likely to use iPads than their public school counterparts. The primary reason for this difference is the expectations of school leaders. Principals should make it clear what they expect teachers to do when integrating the iPad in the classroom. Principals should also be involved in technology integration initiatives, so that teachers are equally exposed to the device. While iPads are widely used in classrooms across the United States, they may not be appropriate for all classrooms.
Impact on teaching and learning
In addition to improving organizational skills, iPads also facilitate collaboration and facilitate student interaction. Teachers also found that students benefit from iPad applications that organize ideas. Additionally, students with special needs are also more engaged with educational materials, making the use of iPads more beneficial to them. Overall, iPads have improved academics, and they may lead to increased student equity. But the impact of iPads on teaching and learning is far from complete.
The research team interviewed administrators, teachers, and students in two elementary schools. It recorded the responses in response to seven key questions. These questions were related to accessibility of curriculum and technology, the appearance of sameness among students, increased communication, collaboration, and equity. The researchers also asked participants about possible difficulties. They also sought to gauge the positive and negative effects of iPad use on learning and equity. For example, administrators noted that students with disabilities can benefit from the use of iPads.
Effects on equity and inclusion
The research conducted to understand the potential impact of iPads in the classroom reveals some important implications. While the iPads are useful tools for the classroom, they can also cause a host of social issues. Among the many problems that arise with the iPads are increased social isolation and self-regulation. While iPads can help many students, they can also be challenging for students with disabilities. The researchers also found that many teachers are unsure of how to handle these issues.
The study analyzed the responses of sixty secondary teachers across four provinces in Canada. Participants taught a variety of subjects, including Canadian and World Studies, French as a Second Language, Native Studies, mathematics, science, social science, and technology. The research team intended to observe each classroom for one period. Teachers from four grade levels were interviewed; the researchers observed grade 7 and 8 science classes, as well as a Grade 9 class. Students were recruited from diverse backgrounds, including those with disabilities.
Limitations to iPad use
As with any new technology, there are some limitations to iPad use in the classroom. Apple has positioned the iPad as a companion device for a desktop computer. Although this makes it convenient for many people, students may find it difficult to focus on a single task when multiple windows or files are open at once. In addition, the iPad is expensive, and many schools have found it difficult to justify the expense. To alleviate some of the financial burden, teachers can use BYOD (bring your own device) or iPad mini for classroom use.
While many teachers have embraced iPad use in their classrooms, they still have concerns about the device's potential for distraction. Students can easily surf unapproved websites or chat with friends, which can impact the overall learning process. Additionally, students may be tempted to use an iPad while they are studying. Despite this concern, students have overwhelmingly positive attitudes about iPad use in the classroom. While teachers and students both agree that the tablet technology has enhanced learning, the researchers have warned of potential distractions.