Exploring the use of iPads and mobile devices in education.
Opportunity often only knocks once. Yes! Ipads can be used to individualize instruction for each student. Kinder students would benefit by using the many applications to reinforce basic reading and math skills. The difficultly I see with IPad use in kinder is that if students have their learning acclerated already in kinder what will the established educational system do with too many students above grade level.
We just launched a pilot with 10 iPads in a 1st grade classroom and the students love it. When the class is split they get 1:1 and other times itʻs 1:2. Both scenarios work well bt they are not used every day (at least not yet) We do see many benefits and opportunities for using the device in a primary classroom. That being said, I donʻt believe you need to have a 1:1 in Kindergarten. For them to be exposed to the technology and the opportunity to use it, yes, 1:1 exclusive use - not necessary.
Excellent topic of discussion.
I must say I agree with Tammi Brass on several points.
I laso think while we cant discount the idea of the multi-touch ability and multiple users interacting (when I helped to integrate iPads into our Freshman Academy as an administrative tool - within 5 minutes of seeing our first one, there were three of us all working on it at the same time and it was very exciting) - we cant forget that many children younger than 5 are using touch screen technologies including the iPad (as well as parents smart phones) quite well and comfortably.
I also think that if we are really serious about getting students to use technology in school they way they do after hours, and in getting teachers to integrate technology into the classroom on a fundamental level (someting beyond using it as gravy) - then the iPad is a very intuitive and user friendly way to do that - its an easy mode of transport to take us from "teaching with technology" to "teaching through technology".
I'll be watching with a close eye to see what happens - I expect some very exciting and surprising things will unfold!
As a visual arts teacher, I think that there are enough really exciting apps on the iPad, that the worry of students not being able to be creative and writing stories at that age is very easily overcome. They may not have the written word skills - but they do have very strong communication skills.Remember that we teach reading visually (A is for Apple with a picture of an apple) and teach more complex storytelling visually as well (see Spot run - look at the picture to help decode the text).Visual literacy and storytelling has been with us since man first realized he could make a mark on a cave wall with a burnt stick, and has become even more important in this age of digital literacy and what Dr. Jason Ohler calls the "communication through the media-collage".
Mary Sykes said:Kindergarteners would have a hard time being creative writing stories on any type of instrument because most of them do not have the written word skills necessary to write a story. iPads are great for older kids!
Lynne Horiuchi said:We just launched a pilot with 10 iPads in a 1st grade classroom and the students love it. When the class is split they get 1:1 and other times itʻs 1:2. Both scenarios work well bt they are not used every day (at least not yet) We do see many benefits and opportunities for using the device in a primary classroom. That being said, I donʻt believe you need to have a 1:1 in Kindergarten. For them to be exposed to the technology and the opportunity to use it, yes, 1:1 exclusive use - not necessary.
Yes yes yes!!!! In my experience small children love them, are engrossed in learning games and it is starting the preparation for life in the 21C. Also, of course, I would have them playing outside, with modelling kits, playdough, cooking etc. - balance in all things :-)
It's not really the iPad itself. Its what it is used for.
I've designed hundreds of interfaces in the past 15 years (most recently many for the iPad). I can tell you right now, that it is only going to get easier and easier. If you are worried about your kindergardener being behind because they can't navigate an iPad UI-don't.
If your child has a problem reading or understanding something, and there is an app that can facilitate improvement, then use it. Regardless of their age. Its a tool.
I think Crayons and glitter are also good investments. They provide tangible materials to manipulate with no boot time. I see all these things as tools.
If a school district buys a bunch of iPads, I'm sure some kids can benefit from them. Just as some kids benefit from crayons, workbooks or having an aid.
I wouldn't criticize a school for giving kindergardeners iPads. But I would if they focused on them to the extent they created a classroom full of zombies staring at tablet screens.
Never really is the device, is it? Rather, how the tech will be infused in the classroom and used to inspire and deepen learning in developmentally appropriate ways seems to be more the matter. I can absolutely see the benefit of iPads in kindergarten & would advocate for this where I work as well. Apart from being kid friendly, the # of apps that a caring and effective teacher could use with 5-years-olds is significant. From talking books (matching print to speech), interactive texts, speech and language apps, to being able to connect children with other children & family is significant. The cameras alone make it a great tool for primary grades. Look forward to learning how the iPads are implemented.
Our school site is waiting for fifty iPads, two Macbooks, and two carts to arrive. I have been pioneering iTouch and iPad use in my third grade classroom on my own dime. I have students evaluate iBooks and apps.
The instructional uses of the iPad are so diverse it becomes difficult to focus on one area. Our site is starting with iBooks only to allow for personalized libraries. The responsiveness of the iPad to individual needs make a great choice for any grade. The magnetic letter app is a good start for kinder. I agree with Alan, application and instructional use are paramount considerations.