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Rationale for the iPad classroom

From: iPad Classroom Fundamentals

Video: Rationale for the iPad classroom

Creating the iPad classroom is an exciting proposition. But I highly recommend that you take some first steps, that you create a rationale for your curriculum, for your colleagues, and for your school's mission. There is a big shift going on and a lot of the educators are calling the big shift this, this is a very popular image that I'm showing you, it's all over the internet. It talks about the old school versus the new age. But for me, it's not just about eh weight of a backpack and how much stuff goes in a backpack. I really feel like this is a disservice.

Rationale for the iPad classroom

Creating the iPad classroom is an exciting proposition. But I highly recommend that you take some first steps, that you create a rationale for your curriculum, for your colleagues, and for your school's mission. There is a big shift going on and a lot of the educators are calling the big shift this, this is a very popular image that I'm showing you, it's all over the internet. It talks about the old school versus the new age. But for me, it's not just about eh weight of a backpack and how much stuff goes in a backpack. I really feel like this is a disservice.

It's really a plus for me, we're adding to a menu of tools and we're extending our tools beyond just a workstation, or just a pile of books on a bookcase. But, we're not going to give up any of those things, we're going to use them all in the end. For me, the big shift is Connectors versus being Connected. When I've taught in digital media labs, I've had to have every one of these things in my labs in order to function.

But now, it's become simple, easy, and immediate. When I walk into my classroom I simply need the iPad. There's also a shift in the way students behave. In the old model of the computer lab, they were tethered to the mouse. They were attached to the screen and the keyboard. And they were focused like horses with blinders on at the workstation on just the screen. They didn't get up, they didn't look to see what other students were doing. They didn't even get up to ask me questions.

They were locked in their own little world at their workstation. But with the introduction of the iPad in classes, I see what I call the untethered student. In this classroom, using the iPad, you see the students are looking at each other. They're making comments, they're reacting, they're focused. They're doing all kinds of things. They're engaged with each other as well as with the tools that they're using. They're mixing traditional tools with digital tools. And they're creating an active work space, and they're experimenting and trying and observing.

And you mix this all together and you see a different kind of environment. You see focus and intensity and a desire to create. The iPad classroom has so many things going for it, you really see the illustration of what it means to be connected. The students are connected with each other, the students are connected with their tools, the students are trying to create. They're generating information quickly, they're evaluating, giving each other feedback, and there's a real spirit of collegiality.

And the desire to teach and learn from each other as well as the instructor. Teaching in the iPad classroom also requires the teacher to evolve. Thirty years ago when I was first hired to teach, I though my main job was to be a subject matter expert. And to give all of that subject matter knowledge that I had, to my students. But now I see myself as a facilitator of learning, and knowledge, and creating learning paths. I'm no longer the big dot pushing content at a row of students row, by row, by row.

But I'm actively engaged with my students, in different configurations, in different ways. With other networks inside and outside the school, with other disciplines, with other tool sets. So, why iPad for education? For me, it's really always a number 1 about the students. When I see a student smile at me like this after doing a project, this is what delights me. It's what keeps me teaching. There is a wonderful study that was put out by the Pearson Foundation. It was sponsored by Lenovo, Intel, and Qualcomm.

It has some amazing statistics. In this survey of both college students and high school seniors they saw that 94% of college student. Owners believe that these devices, tablets, are valuable for educational purposes of the college students. In the last two years there has been a three time increase in their purchase of tablets. Of the high school seniors surveyed there's been a four time increase of the purchase of tablets in the last two years. When polled, 75% of the students, both college and high school, said they use it daily for school related activities. And three out of five of students use it multiple times a day for school purposes. Those are amazing statistics to talk about the increase, the adoption, and the desire for this kind of learning.

So what are some of the benefits? If I were to say it in four words it would be agile, adaptable, enabling, empowering. But often four words doesn't meet the school requirements or the institution requirements for putting forth a reason for implementing an iPad classroom. I've tried to put together ten of the most important things that have made a difference for me. It gives the control back to the teacher and the learner. I'm no longer dependent on the institution, IT support, or whether I have the right equipment in a lab.

It puts the fun back into teaching and learning. It allows each one of my students to use the iPad as a personal learning studio. By using those apps they personalize and customize their own learning experiences in the way they want to use their toolbox. Contextual learning comes back into play. The students learn what they want as they need. And I've found that multi-sensory experiences introduces a whole new way of learning, where it's by experience and not memorization. The access is fabulous, it's portable, and it's instant-on with a long battery life.

Personalization for individual learning styles and needs is a big plus. There are custom playlists, built-in accessibility features. The iPad affords each student to have personalization for their own learning styles and their own needs. As we define what the activities with the iPad are, I see each of my students taking different pathways to get to the end results. And most importantly I see for the first time that the students are really engaged, even in a 8 o'clock class, 85% of them show up on time just to get that iPad in their hands.

The WiFi connection allows you to print, and to access the biggest research lab in the world, the Internet. You can manage with choice. There's iTunes for your management tool, and the app store is ever-expanding and ever-adding content for education. And finally, Apple has thoughtfully, and generously afforded accessibility and special needs tools that ship with the iPad. It's clear to me that most student understand what you can use an iPad for, but we still need to teach our students how to shift from one modality to the next.

As my students come in to college, or come in to high schools, or come into elementary school. I have a pretty clear feeling that these digital natives understand how to use digital tools but mostly for social purposes, for entertainment purposes. For game playing, for communicating with their friends, for keeping in touch. But the real challenge for educators is to teach them how to use the same digital tools for academic rigor. And how to take those tools and that understanding out into the workplace.

To understand how to use the tools for research. How to develop materials that we can use for teaching and learning. How to use multimedia and media services inside the process of learning. How to take notes and annotate, how to do presentations, web conferences. Develop collaborative spaces that are both virtual, synchronous and asynchronous. And most importantly, to add digital literacy, that they know how to attribute and annotate, and understand copyrights and their use.

So are you ready? It's a call for action. It's a call for engagement. What I see it's like, it's like a kindergarten room for a much more mature learner. Just as in kindergarten there were lots of activities set up everyday, and the kindergartner could go from table to table to table. I see the college students who come into my class wanting to get their hands dirty to get right into the project. The iPad classroom is really the new sandbox for the 21st century learner.

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iPad Classroom Fundamentals

31 video lessons · 8595 viewers

Laurie Burruss
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