Ipads In The Primary Classroom Essay

1338 words - 6 pages

The Benefits of iPads/Tablets in the Primary Classroom
For many teachers introducing iPads in a primary classroom is a daunting task. Many educators are hesitant to take the leap to using iPads for instruction in a primary classroom (Getting & Swainey, 2012). The research of Dhir, Gahwaji, & Nyman found it is not surprising, that eight and nine year old children are considered technologically savvy. Children learn differently with technology. Certain skills such as problem solving, exploratory learning, collaboration, and teamwork skills are enhanced through the use of technology (2013). Shifflet,Toledo, & Mattoon found in their research, preschoolers were quite successful with iPads and ...view middle of the document...

Similarly, Mattoon discovered children collaborated around the tablet to design and create pictures. One child could begin making a picture another child could add to the picture. This increased collaboration is not something noticed in traditional art projects (2012). The National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Institute’s position on technology is that it can and should provide children to be creative, solve problems, think and make decisions (Shifflet, Toledo & Mattoon, 2012).
Mattoon’s observations support the idea that technology should not replace active play and authentic learning situations in a classroom. She concludes it is necessary to find a healthy balance between activities with and without technology. The study also led to the discovery that the “newness” of the tablet eventually wore off for most children. The tablet became a natural part of the preschool classroom and did not replace the hands-on activities and play in the classroom. Even when technology is introduced in a school setting, children could distinguish the real world from virtual world. They also still desired to engage in real world experiences. While many educators resist technology, reasoning that it is not developmentally appropriate, research shows when educators are intentional and selective in the use of technology young children can benefit from learning with technology (Shifflet, R., Toledo, C., & Mattonn, C., 2012). With this in mind, the use of iPads in primary classroom can create positive experiences, but should not take away from face to face interaction between students and teachers. Authentic learning should take place both with and without the use of the iPad. When teachers take careful consideration in planning and selecting activities for student use of the iPad, it can yield multiple benefits.
The definition of the term text is expanding with the expanding use of electronic devices such as iPads, iPods, tablets, and cell phone (Newman, 2013). In today’s fast-paced world, adults and children alike are connected and engaged with one another through the use of electronic devices. Engagement is another benefit of using the iPad in a primary classroom. The interface of the iPad is more motivating than regular computers or paper for students. The iPad appears to extend opportunities for playfulness among users of all ages. This playfulness is what captivates and engages our youngest students, because the iPads adds the element of play, students are learning even though it feels more like play. That being said, the biggest challenge iPad integrationists face is to get students and parents to view the iPad as tool for learning, not a gaming machine (Government of Alberta, 2011). Students today are engaged in multimodal experiences outside of school, far beyond traditional paper, pencil, and print texts. Schools must find a way to expose students to these forms of communications and literacies.
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