Tuesday, September 11, 2012

iPads for the Classroom

We are proud to announce that the School District of Janesville is moving ahead with iPads for both student and staff use.  A recent survey of Technology Directors across the U.S. found that all of them are testing or deploying iPads in schools, and these school leaders expect iPads to outnumber computers in the next five years.  While the iPad does not replace the need for a traditional computer, it addresses many of the normal day-to-day classroom needs for students and does it in a smaller and far more portable way. 
With more and more educational applications being made for the iPad everyday, what started as a tool for college-age adults, has become one of the most versatile technologies for students of any age.   
Not only can children read textbooks on an iPad, teachers can use an iPad in combination with SmartBoards for group instruction. Teachers can work with students on a 1:1 basis, leveraging the power of technology in ways not possible before the iPad. This is especially true for iPads used in the special education classroom.  Using the iPad as an assistive technology tool allows learning to become possible for those for whom education is most challenging. 
This technology is very new, being available since April 3, 2010 – which makes it a very young innovation.  However, a year-long study using iPads had some promising preliminary results.  More studies will be needed to more clearly understand the achievement gains, but early indications are positive.
The iPad is an investment into our children’s future with the hope and promise of moving the achievement needle forward.  With an iPad in a child’s hands, the potential is limitless.  With its simple touch interface, a vast catalog of applications, and its overall simplistic design, the iPad is a signal of what is to come as technology and K-12 education combine.

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