by Dave Wingler
How To Overcome The iPad Learning Curve: Technology can make life a lot easier in the classroom. In the past criticism was often aimed at new technology coming into the classroom, recent advances in tech have made drastic changes to the learning environment.
This has actually been the case for numerous generations. When televisions were introduced to schools and kindergartens, many people were outraged at the invasion of technology into the educational process but of course, television became an integral part of the learning process. It is therefore fair to say that when used properly, tablets such as the iPad can be used effectively in the classroom.
Where Does A Teacher or School Start?
No matter what the educational focus is, there is an app which supports practically any curriculum target imaginable. Finding them involves the arduous task of downloading, appraising, ranking and discarding apps based on usefulness and engagement. While apps provide numerous educational benefits as well as entertainment they are not always appropriately connected to curriculum targets. Kathy Shrock provides an excellent evaluation rubric for download which judges applications across multiple areas including effect on student motivation, user friendliness and how it incorporates the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Teachers and institutions can also rely on some of the many quality iBooks that have been written up in the last 2 years that provide constructive reviews of applications for use in education environments. Among the most recent and useful publications currently in the app store is Annalisa Kelly’s guide: “iPads in the Classroom 2013” The publication serves as a beginner’s reference for teachers in primary and secondary schools. This guide discusses aspects of using iPads with students across grades and is inclusive of special needs, regular stream and gifted students. The text not only provides guidance to teachers who currently augment their lessons with iOS devices but it is also intended for those who are planning deployments in their schools. A useful “App-endix” has also been added to the guide which lists over 35 applications that educators will find useful based on their usability for educators and their pertinence to curriculum.
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