With implementation of technology in education and use of digital tools in classrooms, iPads have emerged as tools to revolutionize education and prepare young children for the technologically advanced world since an early age. Use of tablets and iPads provide opportunities to children so that they can participate in rich and dynamic learning contexts and create their own contents.
Benefits of Using iPads in Schools
The benefits of using iPads in teaching learning environments are discussed below: –
- The iPads are Mobile
The iPads provide mobile learning experience to students allowing them to take their device to different classrooms and also into the outdoors. Use of iPads is well-suited to the junior years as its use is intuitive for young learners.
2. They are Interactive
With the use of interactive apps teachers can provide instant input and feedback to children. According to research, introduction of iPads during early learning and primary schools has positive effect on development of literacy and numeracy skills in children.
3. Gamified Education
Research showed that children who use digital tools in education considered learning as play. The main benefit of using such tools is that it gamifies education and incorporates different learning styles by adding fun element to education.
- Easy Assessment
For senior students iPads contributes towards easy assessment of curriculum tasks. With the use of email, messaging and other educational apps, students file their assessments, record submission date, and it also simplifies the overall marking, assessment, and feedback process.
- Paperless Innovation
Several schools have found creative ways to use iPads to save money and the environment which includes eliminating use of paper in areas like homework, tests and textbooks.
- Enhances Motor Skills of Students
Children who lack motor skills find it difficult to manipulate between keyboard, mouse and screen. But the components of iPads offer touch screen and all-in-one components that adheres to the special needs of such children. Studies also showed that children with delayed cognitive ability can boost language use and social interaction through several apps of iPads.
- Reading and Audio Books
Tablets and iPads are the ideal devices to engage with numerous audio books and electronic books available in the virtual library. Schools can now save significant costs on textbooks by allowing students to read electronic books.
- Photography and Video
Tablets and iPads allow students to capture information through photographs and videos. Students can video a science experiment and re-examine the results of the experiment. They can also photograph their artworks for an assignment, and also record a performance.
- Note Taking
Tablets and iPads are an ideal tool for tasks like note taking in high schools and higher learning. Students can directly type notes on their iPads and organize the information. Students can save their notes and study whenever they want.
- Virtual experiences
Modern iPads allow students to explore the world from their comfort space. Videos incorporated with virtual reality and augmented reality allows children to experience a different environment as if they were real. They can experience history, and also tour foreign cities and towns.
iPads in Schools: A Blessing or Curse?
There is always a debate is raging over the rights and wrongs of using digital technology to learn. According to experts say there is always a middle ground. Hundreds of parents are stand against the school management that has implemented an iPad-only policy for junior cycle students.
A large group of parents are worried about too much screen time of children with implementation of iPads in schools. They also fear that this approach is going to harm education of their children.
On the other is the school, another group of parents support digital technology and consider it important to prepare their children for the modern technologically developed world.
Educational Effectiveness of iPad
The iPad is being considered a boon as it functions as a communication tool for students who face challenges in communicating. It is beneficial for learners with autism and also majority of English Language Learners.
It is seen that iPads establishes more direct link between learners, instruction, and content. In a traditional school environment where one teacher must focus on more than 30 students, the ratio can be considered 1:30. But when each student uses a personal iPad, the ratio drops to 1:1. Therefore teachers can pay more attention to each and every student.
Student learners have the opportunity to deal with the content immediately. Students are able to troubleshoot and problem-solve issues on their own because the hardware and software is often familiar.
According to research, 8 out of 10 students responded positively on the educational value of iPads and tablet computers. However, students preferred printed textbooks over electronic textbooks.
Students also reported that because of the ease of navigation, annotation, and portability, the iPad was very useful for discussing texts in classrooms.
Nowadays, students are also using their iPads for course-related activities brief tasks like taking notes in classrooms. However, all students preferred computers for larger projects such as writing essays and making reports.
Apart from advantages like portability, accessibility and ease of navigation, the iPad has other benefits such as its relatively long battery life, and also its full colour visual display which is excellent for photographs and graphics.
It also offers assistive tools such as audio readers for students with visual impairment. The iPads are also suitable for searching, browsing and annotating content.
In recent times, iPad is becoming popular in labs for collecting, recording and analysing data for their experiments. Some of the iPad versions also feature an excellent video recording facility, which makes it useful for assignments and portfolios that rely heavily on digital material.
The iPads have emerged as an excellent tool in education. Its major strength is that it acts best for interaction and exploration and both of them are excellent in the teaching learning process. It can also be linked with an interactive whiteboard during class and the ability of iPads to display its content makes it useful in distance learning.