Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Why Pilot with the iPad?
The keyword is pilot in that it is important to try a new technology before fully adopting it. As for iPads, they fit our need for mobile devices that give users the ability to collaborate, access information and create. The price, instant on nature of iPads and the rich variety of applications makes iPads a good choice for our pilot. We already have experience using tablet computers and laptops so the iPads will give us new data from which to make future choices as we expand our 1:1 mobile program.
While the iPads are exciting and engaging tools for our teachers and students, they really are secondary to how we teach and assess our students. Many schools have struggled with implementing 1:1 mobile programs because they haven't changed how they teach and how they engage students in learning. Mobile devices used incorrectly can become very expensive digital notebooks for recording information with students passively receiving lectures and then returning the information in the form only of papers and tests.
We use technology to not only gather information from teachers but also from many other sources as part of our research curriculum. Our students use multiple methods for expressing and communicating their understanding of key concepts and skills. The iPads along with our other computers, software, Web 2.0 sites and audio/image recording devices give students the tools to creatively build their understanding in ways that can be assessed by their teachers.