Something that I often wonder about is the use of iPad’s at school… Can this really be educational, or are there too many distractions on the iPad which may prevent students from completing the task that they have been set to do?
Now, I have never taught or seen a lesson being taught where the students are using iPads, but let’s think about this seriously… I’m sure no one has ever gone to a uni lecture or tutorial and not used their phone or iPad for something other than what is being taught (facebook, messaging etc!!) 🙂
So if we do this at uni, where we are choosing to study what we are studying, what is stopping students from using the iPads for other reasons at school, especially if they are not particularly interested in the subject?
Wesley Fryer makes a point in this blog post that students are begging to use the iPads for play, because they do not get opportunity to use them for this purpose very often.
This leads me to think back to a recent professional experience placement I had, where the students could use the computers during their lunch break, or go to the office and use the iPads. Yes this would allow the students opportunity to ‘play’ on the iPads, however where does the school then stand with the childhood obesity statistics in Australia? Shouldn’t they be getting outside and playing during their lunch break, not sitting in front of a computer of iPad?!
I guess, there a man advantages and disadvantages to using iPads in schools, and as seen in Postman’s Five Things We Need To Know about Technological Change,
Technology is always a trade-off. For every advantage a new technology offers, there is always a corresponding disadvantage.
It is just up to us, as teachers to weigh up these advantages and disadvantages, and decide what is best for our students.