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The Pros and Cons of iPads in the Classroom

Teacher and blogger David Andrews charts reasons for and against introducing i-Pads into the classroom.

In my mind these were the pros:

• Ease and speed of use and accessibility: The touch interface and app system on the iPad makes it easy to access learning tools. On a laptop you have to open the lid, turn it on, wait for it to load, log in to your account and then wait for the operating system to load.
• Audio visual (AV) tools: The iPad has extremely easy access to AV tools (camera, video and voice recorder) which can be used creatively across countless number of apps. The laptop does have built-in cameras and microphones but they are so much more difficult to use and could require an additional piece of hardware to be connected and installed.
• Books: iPads are great for reading. iBooks allow the user to annotate, highlight and look up the meaning of words.
• Creativity: The in-built AV tools means that the iPad has endless possibilities to be used creatively in any subject in the school curriculum, it just need imagination. For example there are apps for drawing, editing photos, creating movies, ebooks, animations and photo stories, composing music, writing graphical novels and other useful creative apps. In addition, many of these apps have the option to publish work to larger audiences online, increasing the incentive for the children to produce quality pieces of work. The laptop doesn’t have the same efficiency and ease of use that the iPad has and the touch interface just makes it more fun and interactive.

And here are the cons:

• Adobe’s Flash and Javascript: One of the biggest criticisms of the iPad is its inability to work with Adobe Flash and Javascript. A lot of content in schools is dominated by Flash. Despite this, it could be argued that the iPad easily makes up for this restriction with a huge selection of apps.
• Multitasking: A drawback with the iPads is the fact that multiple ‘windows’ or files cannot be kept open, side-by-side unlike on computers, although there are apps that allow multiple pages to be open side by side.
• Word processing: The iPad is quite limited as a device that you would use regularly to word process on. I much prefer to type lengthy documents on my computer, where I can switch quickly between browser, word processing and email. Despite this I still use the iPad regularly for light writing such as emails and Twitter.

Click on the link to read The Top 50 Best Apps for Children
Click on the link to read How do you Assess a Student Who Knows More Than You Do?

Click on the link to read There is Still Some Love for the Forgotten Class Whiteboard

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