We all know that iPads are a major tool used in college classrooms today. We now live in a time where iPads have replaced regular desktop computers or even notebooks to write in. At our school alone, LIU Post, the college gives out free ones to encourage the students to use them in their classes.
According to this article, teachers of the lower level of education are now thinking about taking away the pen and pencil, and rather substituting it with the iPad. In the East Haven elementary schools in Connecticut, the teachers are testing out this method to see if it will be beneficial to their students’ learning. The kindergarten teachers in this school district use the iPads primarily for testing purposes. Every forty-five days the students were given a test in their core subjects to help the teacher to realize what the students needed extra help with. The tests that they distribute are pretests to the actual material that the teachers will be teaching for approximately the next forty-five days.
There are many benefits to having this style of teaching in schools. This can open up the doors for different types of teaching and learning. One benefit is that instead of just sitting in a classroom, this gives students the opportunity to go beyond the room itself and go outside to explore nature. While doing this, they can use their iPads to find out more facts about the various plants, animals, trees, and etc. that they are witnessing first hand. This is more convenient than a desktop computer since iPads are mobile technology devices. This makes it easier to teach in different environments whether it be an auditorium, outside, in the classroom, or on a school trip. Another benefit, is that by the use of the iPads kids have the opportunity to gain confidence by having the information right in front of them, just like a textbook. These devices also make it easier to transfer worksheets and notes between students and their teachers.
On the contrary there are also disadvantages to including the use of iPads in a classroom to such a young audience. First of all the most obvious one is that the very young students might not even know how to properly use the devices. Also, with the addition of such an interesting tool, students can become more invested in the iPad itself rather than the actual work. This can cause the teachers to lose the students’ focus as well as control over their classes. When it comes to higher levels of education, the student only sees the iPad as a fun distraction from their schoolwork. Another disadvantage is for these young kids, they become dependent on the technology because it makes school easier for them. However, when they grow up and get older, if the school that they attend doesn’t approve for the technology to be used in classrooms, it can be difficult for these students to adjust to different learning environments. For the teachers, it could also be a disadvantage because if they heavily depends on the iPad as well. He or she can make a lesson plan, have the kids work on it, and then when it comes down to it, the teacher is not really teaching the students anything at all. This makes the classrooms just look like a ton of people in a room playing on an iPad. Another point to bring up is the iPad’s short battery life. An iPad’s battery life is not the best since they only last for a couple of hours. By having the responsibility to charge all these devices, it brings up the discussion of do these schools really want to spend more money on electricity just to get some hours of learning across via technology.
In conclusion, this seems to be a controversial issue for the future of education.
What would you do as a future teacher?
-Would you incorporate the new technology to your classroom or stay traditional and teach the way that has been working for years.
-If so, what age would you start teaching with technology?