iPads in Education

Innovating education with technology.

iPads have been hailed as unparalleled mobile devices for the consumption of media. The ability to browse the news, read an electronic book, display your photos, watch a video - these activities are all integral to the popularity of the iPad. On the other hand, iPads have equally been criticized within educational circles as ONLY being consumption devices. Many educators feel that iPads don't give students sufficient capacity to express themselves creatively. 

 

Is the depiction of the iPad as a consumption device a myth? How are you using them in your classes? Are you utilizing iPads for creative expression ... and if so, how? What iPad apps and activities are proving most effective in your class?

 

Add your voice to the discussion...

Views: 1962

Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

We used iPads at an end of the year poetry tea for parents (1st Grade).  After we made original works in 4 different styles of poetry, I scanned each student's work (5 pages total with their cover) on to a pdf and dropped them into iBooks.  Students showcased their work electronically to their parents by swiping to the next page on the iPads.  Although it required a lot of teacher prep time, it was a fun way for students to share their work and the parents were quite impressed!

 

 

Not only are iPads consumptive devices, they are limited by the capabilities of the aps and the inability to get around Apple's control of what can be consumed. At a games for education conference, the number of developers writing in Flash gives one to understand that they see other ways to deliver. The number of ipads at the meeting from 2010->2011 seemed to be less w/laptops and net books returning w/attendees.  The introduction of Android to the Nook shows the possibility of  lower cost and more flexible tablet options.

 

Tablets are evolving but still are hammers looking for nails. Apple seems to be trying to protect its net book market while android systems seem to understand that mobile devices are becoming more flexible and interchangeable. Educators need to pause and think whether tablets are the best investment w/limited resources and then whether the iPad is the tablet of choice

As stated in your last paragraph - "how are iPads used in classes?" - I feel this is the key to the discussion. If the classroom pedagogy reflects the use of iPads as a tool to aid creative learning, then they are not just consumption devices.There is a large variety of Apps which promote creativity and anyone who has used iPads in the classroom can also see how they aid independent learning and experimentation. Professional learning for teachers is also another key to ensure that the classroom pedagogy reflects the effective use of the iPad for learning, rather than being just used as a basic consumption tool. Yes there is still a lot of development that can be done to improve the iPad and the old argument that it does not use Flash - needs a change of mindset by many educators. I also believe that we need to define students and look at the use by different age groups? It may be more of a consumption device for older learners, than the younger learners or vice versa. 

 

It will be interesting to see educators view points.

Especially with the advent of garageband I find my students constantly creating with the iPad.  They never asked to see garageband on the macBook.

I think the production abilities of iPads are improving dramatically. We have been testing iPads this year and will implement a 1to1 program next year in a few grades. We have had a number of planning meetings at the end of the school year to see how we can make this happen.

Production (I am using this as an antonym to consumption)

1. Check out iAnnotate. It was great but just became greater. You can annotate a pdf with text, highlighting, pictures, weblinks and voice. This sounds interesting, but our teachers brainstorms some expansions of this. What if I sent my students (we are doing this through moodle, our course management system) an outline of my notes (which I used to do in paper) in pdf and then through my class each kids makes it up. Another teacher asked, if I send them a worksheet can they use these tools to fill it in. Well yes you can and it is not just pretty easy, it offers more variety of tools than if this was paper or a google doc on a computer. HOw do I get this to back to me? iAnnotate just added webDav and DropBox support. We are implementing webDav as a means for students to share stuff with teachers and more organized ways in Moodle (version 2.0 supports webDav, Dropbox and Google Docs).  Another teacher use the Cornell Notes template to have her students enter notes in iAnnotate and then summarize them in the evening. We also decided as a group on a tag grammar so kids can properly organize all these documents in iAnnotate which has a great tagging structure.

2. A blog is a reflection, but often we want to reflect closer to the experience. A kid is in the museum, on  field trip, in the middle of an art project or wherever. It is hard to bring a laptop to these experience so a paper journal makes more sense, except that is harder to share. Now with an iPad, you can bring it with you like your journal, you can use BlogPress to share it on your wordpress blog and include pictures, drawing and movies of the experience. Kids could check what others are doing as they are immersed in the activity or after when they have more time (they could also comment and swap stories). You can even add video - BlogPress has a nice feature that automatically posts it to youtube.

 

3. qrtags - we have been playing with this in various ways. You are setting up a could of stations for kids in a lab, you have them observe, make some conclusions and then when they are ready or stuck, scan a qrtag that leads them to a page that explains the lab or resources to extend it. Kids art work is hanging up in the hallway, want to see other things the kids did or do you want to leave the artist a comment, scan a tag and get to the place to do that. In the cafeteria and looking at the menu, click on some tags to find out where that chicken came from or how nutritious it is.

 

We are just beginning to make this a production device because our mind are just beginning to rap our heads around this tool.  My students will teach me more ways next year.

Similar to what Sara did with her first graders, I created ePubs from the work of several first grade classes. Theme was Animals of the Rain Forest. Students choose an animal, did research with classroom teacher. Literacy specialist popped in and helped student improve writing and change descriptions to first person ("I am a macaw. I live in ..."). In tech class, they used StoryKit to draw picture of animal; imported picture into Pages template that I had created; they typed their text, and I spent a bajillion hours pulling them into one Pages file, reformatting, etc. and shared as ePub. Parents and students LOVED seeing their books. Posted on website in ePub and pdf for parents to download.

7th grade French class made Keynotes on iPads. Theme was French artists. Students imported image of artwork to Keynote; typed in a description of it. Now that I think of it, am not sure what teacher "did" with them or how/if students shared them.

We're just taking baby steps here, but I sense huge educational potential in iPad/tablets.

We are aiming to do a lot of productive and self-expressive projects with our students in our next 1:1 trial at Trinity College from August, and the full student population from 2012. Some of the productive activities already underway with students involve making short films with iPad 2 camera and iMovie (we are planning a student Trop-Fest); recording voice for English language improvement - using Voice Recorder, and Evernote for teacher feedback; script development for Drama; comic-strip summaries of short stories in Literature, using Strip Design; collaborative document work using Google Docs; student presentations of their research work in various subjects, using Keynote, or the up-coming app Show Me (potentially).

We aren't expecting students to burn their laptops or stop using incredibly useful computers, and there are many ways iPads can interact with other computer functions - for instance, the production of e-pubs using Pages. I recently made an e-pub from a set of articles and blog posts I had saved with Instapaper on my iPad. Accessing my Instapaper account on my computer, I was able to produce an e-pub of those saved resources, and email to myself to read in iBooks on the iPad. I will be encouraging students to make their own e-books, and our Literature department will be producing an e-book of student's creative writing.

One other important productive aspect of the iPad which isn't often mentioned in discussions, is that it is an excellent tool for collecting information, and we will be working with students to assist them to exploit the iPad's connectivity with the web to research, organise, distribute and share resources. Students can use note-taking applications to record their tutorials, and have linked notes. This will be a key aspect of the research we are planning - seeing how students use their iPads as study supports, and evaluating it against traditional note-taking practices and the use of traditional LMS resources. Potentially, the iPad can reduce time spent on various tasks - transcribing notes, for example, and organising materials for reference in essay writing. This can increase a student's "productivity" - which in my assessment, makes the iPad a production device.

All good ideas. Yet a lot of what teachers are trying to do is replicate what is already possible and rather mundane: old wine in new bottles.

The iPad is different, you have to take risks and totally think outside the assignment/notes/blogging mindset.

You can draw! Students in my 10th grade digital media class went to the Metropolitan Museum and sketched the Temple of Dendur with the Brushes App. Totally engaged!

You can play music! Garageband, Rockband and numerous keyboard programs allow for ear training, piano. voice and re-mixing all on one easy to use devise.

I just was approved for 20 iPads to be used in the Music and Arts classes at my school.

You can edit video with iMovie, design with Sketchpad, Animate with Toontastic and other animation tools.

This is a tool for communication beyond writing and into multimedia.

The problem is that so many of the reports we have read on the web have talked about iPads as a textbook replacement.  That reflects the lack of understanding that boards have, as do others who are looking to promote their school for their wonderful adoption of new technology.

 

The reality is that most teachers who have had the opportunity to try an iPad can see the benefits in ease of use, easy access and student engagement.  Apps such as Pages, Keynote, iMovie, Garageband, Comic Life or Artrage are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of drawing out the creative potential of students.  We have always said that the key is to keep the focus on the creativity and the content, and not on the technology.  We are seeing that the iPad is taking that principle to the next level.

I'm currently doing research on the viability of using iPads in language classrooms.  Promoting digital literacy is important in language learning as the world becomes more and more reliant on technological systems.   It has taken a great deal of time convert my traditional paper based curriculum over to digital format.  In my classes 2 students share one iPad and occasionally we share 1 iPad with up to 4 students when students are doing presentations.  The curriculum I've designed to stimulate conversation has been augmented by 'consuming' a few different apps on the app store.  These include several books as apps.  As far as studying language communication curriculum is concerned sharing iPads gives students more than enough opportunity to express themselves creatively to each other.  

I think it is up to the teacher to thoroughly research how the iPad can augment existing curriculum and even redesign curriculum that will give their students opportunity to express themselves creatively.  I hope never to have to go back to the old days where I was in front of a copy machine all the time making copies. 

I don't see the iPad as any more of a consumption device than plain old paper is.  Both mediums allow us to explore and learn information.  Both cost.  The iPad and other tablets obviously offer more interactivity while learning.  One must ask- should not learning be engaging?  I'm off topic...but I'd have to say here that my chief concern is that learners become distracted by the device's functions and lose their ability to concentrate on the task at hand. But I think that is a question of classroom management. 

 

One thematic unit we do in my classroom is read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and then discuss the consequences of habitat destruction and ironically over consumption.  I created a number of conversation 'cards' saved as jpegs and viewed in the photo viewer to have students discuss environmental issues and how it relates to their lives.

 

Another unit we do is discuss personality types and how they relate to astrological signs.  This is more of a guided activity where students read and respond to situations that demonstrate their inclination to specific signs' traits.  The aim of the activity is to teach a wide variety of adjectives and get students talking about their personal preferences.  In the past we used print outs to perform this activity but thanks to the iPad we don't have to use paper anymore. 

 

The app we use to help students remember the large volume of vocabulary associated with this activity is called Futaba.  I personally designed this app it so that I could give my students a fun way to compete with each other while learning vocabulary.  Any teacher can use Futaba to help give their students a break from rote learning as the game's content is fully adjustable.  Though the interface is cute and music geared towards young learners that doesn't take away from its utility in helping students to enjoy learning.

 

It is important to note that not all apps are intended for learners to express themselves creatively.  The beauty of the iPad is its multifaceted use.

Thanks for all the great suggestions

Dave Wingler said:

I'm currently doing research on the viability of using iPads in language classrooms.  Promoting digital literacy is important in language learning as the world becomes more and more reliant on technological systems.   It has taken a great deal of time convert my traditional paper based curriculum over to digital format.  In my classes 2 students share one iPad and occasionally we share 1 iPad with up to 4 students when students are doing presentations.  The curriculum I've designed to stimulate conversation has been augmented by 'consuming' a few different apps on the app store.  These include several books as apps.  As far as studying language communication curriculum is concerned sharing iPads gives students more than enough opportunity to express themselves creatively to each other.  

I think it is up to the teacher to thoroughly research how the iPad can augment existing curriculum and even redesign curriculum that will give their students opportunity to express themselves creatively.  I hope never to have to go back to the old days where I was in front of a copy machine all the time making copies. 

I don't see the iPad as any more of a consumption device than plain old paper is.  Both mediums allow us to explore and learn information.  Both cost.  The iPad and other tablets obviously offer more interactivity while learning.  One must ask- should not learning be engaging?  I'm off topic...but I'd have to say here that my chief concern is that learners become distracted by the device's functions and lose their ability to concentrate on the task at hand. But I think that is a question of classroom management. 

 

One thematic unit we do in my classroom is read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and then discuss the consequences of habitat destruction and ironically over consumption.  I created a number of conversation 'cards' saved as jpegs and viewed in the photo viewer to have students discuss environmental issues and how it relates to their lives.

 

Another unit we do is discuss personality types and how they relate to astrological signs.  This is more of a guided activity where students read and respond to situations that demonstrate their inclination to specific signs' traits.  The aim of the activity is to teach a wide variety of adjectives and get students talking about their personal preferences.  In the past we used print outs to perform this activity but thanks to the iPad we don't have to use paper anymore. 

 

The app we use to help students remember the large volume of vocabulary associated with this activity is called Futaba.  I personally designed this app it so that I could give my students a fun way to compete with each other while learning vocabulary.  Any teacher can use Futaba to help give their students a break from rote learning as the game's content is fully adjustable.  Though the interface is cute and music geared towards young learners that doesn't take away from its utility in helping students to enjoy learning.

 

It is important to note that not all apps are intended for learners to express themselves creatively.  The beauty of the iPad is its multifaceted use.

It seems to me the consumption vs creation debate is simply an early reaction from people who have used keyboards and mice to interact with computers most of their lives. The touch-screen is a more versatile and natural way to input:

 

This was created using GarageBand for iPad

 

This was created using Brushes for iPad

 

RSS

About

Sam Gliksman created this Ning Network.

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2017   Created by Sam Gliksman.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service