iPads In Education – How’s It Going So Far?

A growing number of schools have launched programs to provide iPads to students. What returns is this investment yielding?

 

There’s no doubt the iPad is a hot topic in education technology today. Just about every week, my preconfigured Google Alerts deliver stories about schools that have decided to provide iPads to their students. With this trend on the rise, the question arises as to how well this investment is paying off at schools that have taken the plunge.

 

Students with iPads Naselle High School article picture

Picture from article about iPad adoption at Naselle High School

 

This week I decided to do a little web research to learn more about this topic. Searching for phrases like “ipads in our schools what worked what didn’t” immediately returned a number of relevant articles. Naturally, I’m sharing my findings here, and hope to encourage a dialogue with readers to learn about their experiences and insights.

 

Naselle High School – teachers and students motivated and engaged
The first article I came across was this one, about the rollout of iPads at Naselle High School in Washington state in the US. Here are a few highlights from the article that stood out for me:

  • They put some solid effort into into implementation planning. They did things like loading the iPads with many education-specific apps that did not require Internet access, and offering a $50 per year insurance policy to parents to help cover any possible damage to the iPad.
  • These statements from students: “Being able to be paperless, not having a lot of loose files in my binder, and best of all, the feeling of having something awesome.”; “The iPads make it easy to look up words and cut down on all the stuff you have to take home for math. You don’t have to take home your paper, calculator and math book. Now, we just take home our math book and iPad.”

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Tags: are ipad programs in schools working, are ipads good for teaching, does the iPad belong in the classroom, what role should the ipad play in education

Comment by Mike Bower on July 17, 2011 at 7:32pm
I have been wondering just how useful iPads in the classroom are.  After reading this article, weighing out the pros and cons that teachers have noticed they seem to be more positive than negative.  I think as long as teachers have had proper training with what the iPads have to offer in the classroom than these are a great idea.  I would really hope that the school does not simply buy the iPads and issue them out without adequate training.  I don't think $50 is too much to ask from the parents to insure the iPads but there are plenty of families that do not have that kind of money to simply put out for this device.  Some parents, and even teachers might look at this tool as a distraction as stated in the article but that might be something that we just have to weigh out our options with.  Overall I think there are more pros than cons with the iPads in the classroom and will most likely only improve as time goes on.
Comment by Kelly Walsh on July 18, 2011 at 10:10am
Thanks for the feedback. I've continued looking at this topic with this week's post (and there's more to come): http://www.emergingedtech.com/2011/07/ipads-in-education-implementa...!

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