The iPad in School
Imagine a world where students don’t need to carry around textbooks because their books reside on their iPad, which they have with them in every class. If each student had an iPad in school, their teachers would never have to worry about laptop sharing for projects or checking out computer carts. The iPads could be customized to each of the students’ classrooms, and if a class needed computers for a resource-intensive job, they could schedule time in one of the two computer labs.
iPads would replace the need for assignment books, because students would receive the assignment through iTunes U; an educational service where teachers can share handouts and lectures. Students would be able to take their iPad home to work on homework and projects. Also, iPads also can solve the issue of students not checking their school email regularly. If a student’s email were to be set up on his or her iPad, then there wouldn’t be an excuse for missing an email when it is right in front of them. Teachers could send out updates to their students without having to worry that a percentage of their students won’t get it.
Students would also be able to use thousands of iPad study apps, such as the popular online tutorial site Khan academy, to aid in their work. There are also thousands of flashcard apps that enable students to use the methods that help them learn the best.
With the recent release of iBooks Author from Apple, teachers can easily make their own textbooks with custom content. iBooks is a simple, user friendly application based off of the iWork applications (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote). The author can embed videos for students to watch, slides from presentations for students to read, multiple choice quizzes to test students’ progress, and small quizzes to test students’ comprehension of the material. iBooks also lets readers highlight, underline, and comment on texts. It can even can take the reader’s annotations and make them into flashcards. Ninety percent of the textbooks from all major publishers are available for iBooks, and some of them have extra features, like pre-compiled flash cards, built into the end of each chapter.
The future of mobile computing is in tablets and having a technologically savvy generation has very few cons. iPads don’t need to be just a high school device; kids in elementary school find the device intuitive. Many households already have tablets at home that the kids have experience using. A large percentage of British Primary Schools use iPads in the classroom to help students’ mastery of basic reading and arithmetic skills. Each student can have a class customized to their particular learning needs by emphasizing the concepts that they have trouble with and not spending extra time on the concepts they understand. The teacher can use the iPad to cover a larger range of students’ needs without additional aids in the room.