The iPad is a tablet computer that was released by Apple in 2010. The most recent version is the 9.7-inch iPad Pro released in 2016. The user interface is built around a touch screen with a virtual keyboard. There is built-in Wi-FI and cellular connectivity on some models. (apple.com, 2017) As of Jan. 2015, over 250 million devices have been sold. (gartner 2016)
An iPad can shoot video, take photos, play music, and perform Internet functions such as web-browsing and emailing. Other functions can be enabled by installing apps. As of March 2016, the App Store has more than one million apps for the iPad by Apple and third parties. (apple.com, 2017)
Technology is constantly changing and evolving to fit the needs of society. For the past seven years, iPads have been slowly introduced into the classroom setting. The the iPad has remained a hit in the K-12 classroom when other technologies fail. But even though they’re in schools, teachers say they would like to use iPads meaningfully in their classrooms, they can’t because of time, access, and training. (eschoolnews.org, 2016) However, the advantages to using an iPad as a teaching tool far outweigh the drawbacks, leading to a better learning environment.
Advantages of iPads in the Classroom
- Immediate Feedback: iPads allow for smoother communication and transmission of materials between teachers and students. Instead of trading stacks of papers with one another one can exchange files. This drastically reduces the amount of time spent grading paper materials. Also, there are numerous apps that allow for electronic quizzes, submissions, and supervision. Teachers can use analytics to quickly see a spread of grades and the amount of time spent on quizzes and assignments. (Catapano, 2017)
- Electronic Files: Students can easily find and store projects and assignments. Papers are often lost or misplaced- by having everything on one device, students and teachers can easily recall information. (Catapano, 2017)
- Numerous Resources Available: There are multiple educational apps for all subjects available free or for a small fee. There also is a large collection of free classic books available for anyone to read for free. Any book that is public domain is available for download. (Catapano, 2017)
iPads have many benefits when applied to classrooms. Teachers who successfully integrate iPads into classrooms have higher scores on standardized tests. Young teachers and pupils are digital natives, meaning they grew up with this technology. Therefore it is easier to train and implement because most students and young teachers already know the basics of working an iPad.
The Wi-Fi symbol, one of the issues with iPads in classes.
Disadvantages of iPads in the Classroom
- Distractions: iPads are a great distraction to students. It is easy to switch off of the assignment and play a game or go online. Teachers need to keep a close eye on what students are doing. (Catapano, 2017)
- Charging Issues: "Books don't need to be charged" A student can loose a whole day of learning if they forget their iPad at home or if it is dead. (Catapano, 2017)
- Wi-Fi Issue: iPad use in the classroom is dependent on Wi-Fi. Many times there may be too many mobile devices trying to fight for Wi-Fi. A slow or disconnected server can ruin a lesson before it even begins. (Catapano, 2017)
iPads were a game changer when they were released. It was now possible to have a hybrid phone and computer. A person didn't have to lug around a large expensive laptop. In the seven years since its release, classrooms have begun to implement iPads into curriculum. They make it easy for students and teachers to work in a group setting, recall old assignments or references, take and score tests and quizzes immediately and have access to numerous resources though the app store. This benefits society because the better educated citizens are, the stronger society is. Teaching students how to use technology from a young age will prepare them for the constantly changing world of technology we now live in. We are in a digital age, and more and more people are digital natives. Successfully incorporating iPads into the classroom allows teachers to responsibly show the power of technology and the advantages it has.
The issues of Wi-Fi and charging issues, are problems the individual schools need to address. Allocating funds to improve this would be a smart choice for a forward thinking school. The problem of iPads as a distraction will forever be an issue because students are constantly being distracted by things. It is up to the teacher to keep students on task.
- IPad Pro. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.apple.com/
- Gartner Says Worldwide Tablet Sales Grew 68 Percent in 2013, With Android Capturing 62 Percent of the Market. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2674215
- What does research really say about iPads in the classroom? (2016, February 29). Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.eschoolnews.com/2016/02/15/what-does-research-really-say-about-ipads-in-the-classroom/
- Catapano, J. (2017). Advantages/Disadvantages of the iPad Classroom. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.teachhub.com/advantagesdisadvantages-ipad-classroom