The introduction of the iPad/Tablet in Schools
In 2010, apple introduced it’s newest technology, the iPad, which promised to bring mobile technology into every home and classroom. With the introduction of the iPad comes new considerations for learning and pedagogy. (Sheppard, 2011) McKenna (2012) suggests that the internet is as common a school fixture as lockers and library books. Additionally schoolwork is one of the most common activities performed online. One of the motivators for schools to adopt iPads was the ability to use interactive textbooks. The portability of the iPad made it not only easier to carry than several text books, but easier to use. The other motivator to iPads and digital textbooks is that the interactive features and capabilities. Digital textbooks can be updated to contain the most current information.
Pedagogical shift VS. Technology Implementation
An appropriate pedagogical framework is necessary to incorporate iPads into the classroom (McKenna, 3, 2012) It is important that educators are aware of the difference between technology integration which involves new literacies and curriculum integration. Newman (2013) notes (as cited in Hutchinson, Beschorner, & Schmidt-Crawford, 2012) that research indicates that much of the technology used in literacy classroom is in the form of technology integration as opposed to curriculum integration.
Technology at Home
Researchers have found that at home, kids are more likely to be creators, designers, and experts with technology as opposed to just responders. Children have freedom and choices when using devices outside of school which enhances their ability to be creative. in their homes, children have free, uninterrupted time for exploration, discovery, and creations. (O’mara & Laidlaw 2011) As stated in a 2011 report from the government of Alberta, “iPads are designed to create an intense personal experience.” Therefore, at home, children have the opportunity for discovery, creation, and exploration. They are able to follow their own interests and passions. Assessments at home comes from the device itself, siblings, or themselves. Kids are able to develop their own expertise. (O’mara & Laidlaw 2011)
Dhir, Gahwaji, & Nyman found the most common activity on a computer or iPad is for young children is playing games. One study found that children prefer to play on home computers versus school computers because they have more control over choices, time spent on activity, and a less restrictive environment. (2013) Many of the educational apps that exist for the iPad tend to have closed activities, which lack the ability to hold the interest of a child. While kids will play “drill and skill” apps, they quickly lose interest and become bored these closed activities. Writing, art, and image capturing design apps which are more open-ended tend to captivate and hold children’s interest. (O’mara & Laidlaw 2011)
The Benefits of iPads/Tablets in the Primary Classroom
For many teachers...