Mythbusters: Year 1 in iPad classrooms
There are some wild claims about the impact iPads can have on PK-12 education, and more and more schools are moving toward 1:1 iPad initiatives...but what can schools realistically expect during the first year of a large scale iPad implementation (and beyond)?
In this panel, we will examine and debunk some of the myths related to the use of iPads in education. By doing so, we hope to help schools set reasonable expectations for the early stages of iPad integration. All phases of iPad implementation will be discussed from the moment the idea sparks into someone’s head to the implementation of iPads into school curricula and student learning.
Busted myths include:
“Access to iPads is all you need.”
“Everybody wants an iPad.”
“There are over 100,000 quality apps for learning!”
“iPads will revolutionize teaching and learning!”
“If you let students use iPads in class, they’ll always be off-task.”
“iPads will save teachers time.”
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- How to prepare? From day one of an iPad initiative, the technology must work. Adjustments to technology infrastructure are absolutely necessary, but beyond technical needs, there are a number of other preparatory tasks to achieve, including: completing administrative tasks (e.g. developing acceptable use policies), communicating with concerned parties (e.g. parents, board members), providing professional development (e.g. for teachers and technology specialists), and developing school norms.
- What happens to teaching and learning? Are iPads a panacea for revolutionizing education? In the first year, teaching pedagogies change little with the influx of the technology. Yet, opportunities for innovation are immense. Communication amongst students and teachers improves. New media literacies are prevalent, and the amount of time spent on administrative classroom practices decrease. With continued development and support, teaching and learning are apt to shift.
- How will iTeach and iLearn in the future? The key to transformations in teaching and learning is content-specific, teacher professional development. Identifying apps that specifically target content areas, student needs, and problems-of-practice (e.g. Celtx) is necessary to untap the full potential of the iPad technology cluster. iPad technology integrationists, teachers, curriculum specialists, and media specialists must collaboratively learn and innovate together. School leaders must model.
Joan Hughes, Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Austin