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i-Pad in the classroom?

I-Pads. Don’t we all wish we had one? They have so many benefits! 
The i-Pad is transportable with high quality images, they’re unobtrusive, flexible and can be integrated well into an educational setting.

Our reading this week (Reid, D. &Ostashewski, N. (2011). iPads in the Classroom – New Technologies, Old Issues: Are they worth the effort?. In T. Bastiaens& M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2011 (pp. 1689-1694). Chesapeake, VA: AACE) was a case study and discusses the introduction of i-Pad’s into Primary School classrooms. It highlights the positive effects in which portable devices bring to the classroom.   

I believe that i-Pads could allow for further engagement within the classroom and in lessons, as students are up-to-date with technology and it is almost second-nature to many of them. I-Pads relate to their generation and shows the students that you are able to connect with them through their interests and understandings. They enable for collaborative learning, as students can access the internet and through this, they are able to communicate with each other over activities and learning experiences. My tutor today stated that collaboratively is often easier in an online environment, as students can access each other’s work easily and can discuss work together. 

However, I am still not in favour of technology controlling the classroom. The teacher must be the facilitator of the learning and the technology must be a supplementary item, to help support the teacher’s lessons. I-Pads can be used with activities to support learning, and I think that if a teacher doesn’t utilise these amazing technological break-throughs, then their students will not be given an education that is able to be had.  
It was discussed today that i-Pads are just a “glorified way to access the internet“. Yes this is true, however, this portable device enables for more than just internet access. Internet is a benefit, but the Applications, or Apps, are even better. People are developing Apps for education and for recreation, and it gives the community power to make Apps to suit their lifestyle. Apple now gives the software to consumers of Apple Products, and this enable general society to create Apps, which I always thought you needed a University Degree to create (boy, am I wrong!!!!) 

Thomas Suarzes is an example of this! The 12 year old American boy has designed Apps for the i-Phone and i-Pad! At the age of 12!!! He talks about how and why he created them, but the most interesting thing I got from watching this video, was that creating Apps is so simple. He runs a co-curircular class, “The App Club“, at his school where he teachers his peers to become designers of Apps. Truly astonishing! 

ImageI-Pads can assist in learning, and can hinder it if not used in an appropriate manner. Please use them! I believe they will assist in furthering your students education.
And please, watch the video on Thomas Suarez. It will amaze you!

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