MISTAKE ONE – Underestimate the power of the iPad
Students do not need to be taught how to use the iPad, but rather how to get the most out of it. They need to be taught how they can use it to create and demonstrate incredible things, to share their learning and connect it with the real word, and to promote deeper thinking.
MISTAKE TWO – Neglect to make real world connections
Most students’ use social media, but not necessarily in a way to learn or to connect in meaningful ways. Blogs, Twitter, Instagram all of these programs work on the iPad and can be used to allow students to learn from each other and to share their learning with others. These tools allow them to take REAL action in the REAL world.
MISTAKE THREE –The iPad alone will not help kids think deeply
Kids need help to find apps that allow them to experience learning in new ways, to think outside the box, and to dig deeper. Students need practice using a range of apps, not just become experts with a few. By showing them that new learning opportunities present themselves constantly, we can eventually demonstrate that new learning tools mean new possibilities and not more of the same old style of learning.
MISTAKE FOUR – Treating the iPad like a computer
When it comes to word-processing – let students use a computer, it is incredibly difficult to format Pages on the iPad and the continual auto spell check can be very frustrating. Focusing on iPad-versus.-laptop comparisons stifles the ability to see how the iPad facilitates student-centered learning.
MISTAKE FIVE – Not taking advantage of the mobility of the device.
iPad mobility means that students can move about taking photographs, recording audio, and shooting video, in any number of places. They can make multimedia stories, demonstrate how to solve math problems, create and simulate virtual experiences of virtually anything, and on and on. The skill of learning to edit media to enhance a project will be essential for the future. Active creativity and personalized learning are some of the main assets of any tablet.
MISTAKE SIX – Sharing iPads between classes
iPads were designed as a single-user device and are not meant to be shared. Lack of finances in these difficult times have forced many schools to abandon 1:1 aspirations, but sharing ipads defeats the purpose. iPads stored and shared on carts by several classrooms cause precious time away from learning. This also hinders the ability to have separate student accounts, and all too often much time is wasted in the disbursement of the tool itself.
MISTAKE SEVEN – Resistance to change
Often communicating to the community the reasons why their districts are purchasing iPads is not made clear by boards of education and administrator. How they will be used and how they will benefit the learner is not explained, as a result, many initiatives face resistance from teachers and parents. Even some students don’t understand why or even want these devices being brought into their classrooms. IT directors need to explain the why’s and how’s of these particular devices. Teachers need extensive training, not just a one-day of professional development. iPads are engaging, but they can also be a huge distraction. Technology needs to be all about the learning; hence the importance of using this device to its fullest potential.
MISTAKE EIGHT – Overuse of ebooks
The iPad supports necessary skill areas and innovative self-expression, different styles of media literacy, unfathomed creativity, and the ability to personalize learning. Instead of focusing on ebooks or forgetting the power of audio that can be connected to ebooks, they should instead be emphasizing the incredibly active learning environment the iPad offers and the unique opportunities to develop student-directed learning. IT Directors should highlight some of the beneficial activities the iPad facilitates as well as the student empowerment it holds.
MISTAKE NINE – Pre-Planning
This mistake comes as an addition to the original eight in response to the blog written by Alexander McDougall, he stated: Before any decision to purchase is made school and/or district administrators and IT managers need to discuss the advantages AND limitations of the iPad in the classroom. It’s also important for teachers to be part of this discussion in its early stages. In an ideal world, there should be preliminary PD offered to teachers (though in the real world where funds are limited, this often doesn’t happen). During this research and planning time, administrators can get a good understanding of how the devices will enhance their classrooms and will be able to speak to those questions when they come from parents and other members of the community. Thanks Alexander for the input, well stated, in an ideal world…