How valuable are iPads in the classroom?

Hopkins Public Schools has asked instructors to consider several questions about iPad use as they test the devices.

The has showed off iPads it purchased for classrooms. School board directors to check out the devices themselves.

But isn’t just looking for something cool. Any device purchased for the classroom is meant to help student achievement, and the iPad is no different.

So the district has asked instructors to consider several questions about using iPads in the classroom. The answers will assist in determining the value of buying the devices for students.


Student access: How can the iPad assist in providing students greater access to digital resources such as the Internet, online databases, and reference materials?

Replacing laptops/desktops: Can the iPad provide a more cost effective and efficient means to provide computer access to students, rather than via traditional desktop computers in labs and laptop computers in mobile labs?   

Replace other devices: How can the iPad replace other devices such as graphing calculators in mathematics and science, classroom student response systems used in many classroom, and specialty drawing tablets used in art classes, essentially providing an all-in-one device?   

Replacing textbooks:How can the iPads be used to replace textbooks, providing students electronic versions of textbooks that are current and dynamic? 

Replacing literature: How can the iPad be used as electronic books, providing students with a rich selection of literature from multiple publishers?   

Individualizing instruction and learning experiences: How can the iPad be used to individualize instruction and learning experiences for students? What materials and applications are available for guided practice for students? What materials and applications are available for extensions and enrichments for students?   

Specific apps: What are the specific applications available on the iPad that will provide enhancements and extensions to current instructional methodologies and materials?   

Learning support: How can iPads be used by students for note taking and by teachers to share instructional materials for lessons? In addition, how can the device be used to assist students in organizing learning materials, manage content, assignments, calendars, homework, and study/review materials?   

Student engagement: How can the iPad be used to increase student engagement and interest?    

Support and technical issues: What are the support and technical issues that must be considered? How can the District effectively manage the devices to provide support and updates?   

Individual device: Would the device be an effective and efficient method to provide students a computing device on an ongoing, individual basis?   

Other comments: What other comments do you have that do not fit the other categories?   


SOURCE: Sid Voss—district director of educational technology, media services and information systems

Kam Gopie April 22, 2011 at 01:13 PM
There is absolutely place in the classroom for iPads, provided of course it is used in such a way as to promote higher learning. This is a great device, tool that allows for an interactive learning. As a support for all children in language development and especially for those who have their mother tongue in another language than the instructional. How are these teachers taught in the use of the iPad? I believe that this must be a must. It is a new way of teaching, a didactic that many aren't familiar with. Time for group discussions and education on the use be allotted.


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