We saw a number of stories of the iPad being adopted in educational institutions – from kindergartens to universities – during its debut year. This week The New York Times has an article that focuses on the way schools are embracing the iPad as an educational tool.
A growing number of schools across the nation are embracing the iPad as the latest tool to teach Kafka in multimedia, history through “Jeopardy”-like games and math with step-by-step animation of complex problems.
The article cites a number of examples of schools in New York and elsewhere buying iPads for students and teachers. iPads are being trialed and adopted by a wide range of schools, and also being put to use for a broad variety of purposes – from teachers using them to teach their classes to students using them at school and at home for everything from corresponding with teachers, playing math games, and turning in papers and homework assignments.
The issue of whether buying iPads is the best way for schools to be using their budgets is also raised in the article.
“There is very little evidence that kids learn more, faster or better by using these machines,” said Larry Cuban, a professor emeritus of education at Stanford University, who believes that the money would be better spent to recruit, train and retain teachers. “IPads are marvelous tools to engage kids, but then the novelty wears off and you get into hard-core issues of teaching and learning.”
One of the main answers to the spending concerns seems to be that the schools will be saving substantial amounts on printing and textbooks costs.
Here’s a quote from a principal that really stood out for me:
“I think this could very well be the biggest thing to hit school technology since the overhead projector,” Mr. Wolfe said.
That one makes me smile – as it sort of shows a leap straight from the tech stone ages to a real cutting-edge device.
The whole article at the NYT is well worth a read – give it a look here: