Teachers constantly need to adapt to new teaching techniques. Technology is something that teachers have been required to include in their everyday teaching for a little while. Various ways to do so were discussed in my previous posts. One thing that teachers want to use in their classes is the iPad. As seen in my classes, many teachers expect to find applications related to their own speciality on App Store. Most often, they cannot find such applications. In fact, they should use the technology related to iPads so as to contribute to their teaching rather than create their teaching itself. For example, if a teacher wants his/her students to do a writing assignment he/she can have the students use an application as a dictionary (i.e. Merriam-Webster Application). Moreover, if each student has a Google Docs account they can write their texts using this app. This way, the teacher has the students use technology, especially the iPad that the students may already know very well.
Some people might question a teacher’s desire to use iPad in the classroom. For instance, some people could say that it would be a disruptive tool for the students as the screens cannot be blocked like in a computer laboratory. As seen in class, a teacher who desires to use this kind of tool needs to establish guidelines with the students beforehand (i.e. iPads are to be used only when students are told to use it.). According to this website, the use of this kind of technology is beneficial because an iPad combines many features such as libraries and educational websites. Basically, the use of the iPad makes any type a classroom a computer lab, a library, and even more. In this article from the BBC, Anne Laura, a teacher, says that she loves having her students use iPads in class because of instant feedback they get from it.
Some people might also question the use of iPads in education because of the cost related to it. Buy an iPad alone costs around $500. Therefore, parents cannot always afford to buy such a tool. Also, according to the Los Angeles Times, a school that would like its teachers to have access to iPads must be ready to pay around $700 per tablet. Gladly, many of the applications available in the App Store are free. From my own experience, I know teachers that use iPads in their classroom who have their students buy an iTune/App Store gift card at the beginning of the year. This way, when they know that students need a paid application, they can either buy it with them live in class or tell them to download it at home. There is no place for complaining regarding the price of an app since everyone has his/her own prepaid card. The purchase of the prepaid card compensates for other materials (i.e. notebooks) that students would need to buy at the beginning of the school year.
I find that a good way to integrate iPads in a classroom is to show students how to study with an iPad. For example, students can be shown the application named A+ Flashcard. This application is designed to use flashcards interactively. Students can design their own flashcards. By clicking on a flashcard, it turns to the reverse side to show the answer. Moreover, students can create different piles of flashcards depending on their understanding of different subjects. Having their flashcards always ready on their device, students can study anywhere their want.
The previously mentioned article from the BBC shows some ways iPads are used by teachers. They include making videos, notetaking, revision, and more.
To know more applications that can be used in education you may consult this website.