Educational Article and Mini Rant: Keys to a successful iPad initiative

Steve Johnson provided a great interview on 1:1 iPad adoption in his school in the post "Keys to a successful iPad initiative."

Two answers stood out more than the rest - I recommend reading the entire interview here -

When asked: Do you have professional development to help teachers transition to new teaching methods that incorporate the iPad?

Johnson explained "Teachers are teaching the same way now as they have in the past. It is simply the tools that have changed. They have loved being able to use Nearpod to push out presentations. Also, they are finding out what we read in our research—that students are more engaged and less distracted when using the iPad. However, classroom management is what has to be re-learned. Teachers are asking how to manage a room of students with digital devices. Professional development addresses this, as well as new apps and programs like iTunes U, which allows us to put content online."

And Johnson concluded the interview with this comment: "While it is a commonly held idea that the students know more about the devices than the teachers, we want to train them on using the familiar device as an educational tool in a best practices way."

These two comments are both insightful and too often overlooked. Teachers need to see the iPads as a tool to help students master the necessary skills in the classroom. The iPads are not the solution or magical potion to cure the ills of the classroom. Instead these devices can help individualize and differentiate lessons allow teachers to become better at their craft. I have noticed in my classroom that student engagement and motivation are at all time highs while using the iPads. Students are more engaged and focused during lessons and units with the iPads - but this is my opinion due to the fact I am able to provide various learning options and mediums; students can read, watch videos, or create when seeking their understanding. 

Johnson's final comment cannot be forgotten either - the use of a new technology requires training. And that includes students. While many know how to play games and watch videos on the iPad - best practices and routines must be established to allow the iPad to transform into the educational tool it has the potential to be. Students must respect the device but more importantly respect the classroom and the process of learning that is taking place.

No comments:

Post a Comment