learning to "blum"

A blog about my time in the education department at Luther College.

iPads in the Classroom

on September 15, 2013


Over the weekend we were assigned to read about iPad use in the classroom. These readings were What the iPad Is and What It Is Not and iPads for Learning – Classroom Ideas for Learning with the iPad. These readings gave me a lot of insight as a pre-service teacher. Technology in the classroom is huge, and I will be expected to know how to utilize the apps available as well as many other aspects of iPads, SMARTboards, laptops, and other technological devices in my own classroom when I begin teaching. Even though I am a pre-service teacher, I do not feel as though I know as much about iPads and other electronics as I am already expected to. These readings helped me see ways in which I can use iPads in my classroom in beneficial ways. Here are some of my thoughts and reactions:

1. iPads can be used for various subjects. I personally experienced the new wave of having iPads in the classroom during my freshman year practicum. I was in a second grade classroom in which the students often used iPads during Daily Five and Mathematics groups. During Daily Five, some students read from iPads and some students did word work with them. It was clear to me that this was a great way for those who are tactile learners to internalize new knowledge. The math lessons were also fun and engaging for students. Who wouldn’t want to play games on an iPad AND learn at the same time?! 

2. iPads can spark creativity. The article titled What the iPad Is and What It Isn’t explains how iPads can be beneficial with regard to creativity. The iPad is stressed in this article as a “thinking tool.” I think this is an interesting name for the iPad. Students are able to create their own “learning map” with the apps they use, the books they upload, and the way they use iPads to present information. To me, this is a phenomenal way of personalizing education. This helps students to make their learning fit their needs and interests and makes what they are learning important to them.

3. iPads can help students to learn about the technology in our world. Technology is now an important aspect of the curriculum in many schools. All of the schools I have observed in throughout the past couple of years have had some kind of technology course whether it be strictly computers or working with a wider range of technology. I think this is important as our world is becoming more and more technology-based everyday. Students will need to know how to use various items like iPads in order to succeed in the future. Thus, having iPads in the classroom can provide a basic knowledge that will allow students to learn more about technology.

4. Taking a step back from some of the positives, these readings allowed me to consider some of the more negative aspects of iPads. I had thought about the differences between iPads and laptops, but not quite to the extent that the readings mentioned. iPads do not have Microsoft Office or Adobe, it is somewhat difficult to have multiple people using one iPad, and it has limited storage (for now). What struck me the most was the idea that multiple person use is difficult. Thinking back on my experience in the second grade classroom, I realized it was hard for the students to share the device. At the time there was only one iPad per classroom, and students often had a hard time using it in groups because they couldn’t all see the screen and it was hard to have several people using one app at once as well. For me, this would be frustrating in a classroom because classroom community is important to me and I think this would test the community that has been built within a classroom if some students struggle with sharing.

Though there are both good and not so good things that come with using iPads in the classroom, I do believe much can be gained from learning more about them and integrating them into schools. There are clearly academic benefits and real-life applications that can come from their use. I can’t wait to get out into a classroom and work more with these devices when I have the chance!


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