Are iPads in the classroom a good idea?

The for and against of using tablet computers in the classroom?

Education
For


Name:
Amir Yazdanpanah

Occupation: Founder/CEO of Makers Builders, a Dubai-based technology Education Company

Says: “iPads, when used effectively in the classroom, can provide students with rich learning experiences that allow them to really dig deep into a subject and understand it beyond the memorisation of facts. There are two key factors that
determine success.

The first is the choice of educational content and apps that promote deeper thinking. The second is the integration of educational apps into interactive learning experiences. When these criteria come together, digital assets can promote critical thinking, problem solving, persistence and collaboration in a way that children intuitively relate to.”

Against


Name:
Rachel Hamilton

Occupation: Author and former teacher

Says: “I’m not a complete cyber-saurus. I’m all for technology in education if it’s more effective than the non-techy alternative. But I’m not convinced classrooms full of iPads are the way forward. I confess, this is partly because I hate the thought of handwriting becoming a dying art. Jotting ideas down by hand is far more tactile and considered than tapping them out on a keyboard. And I love the way we all have our own writing style – like a creative fingerprint – that makes our work uniquely ours. Printed words don’t carry the same power or emotion. Also, while I have faith in kids’ ability to do wonderful things with iPads, I’m not convinced all those things will be educational. The tech-savvy kids I know are skilled at finding creative ways to distract themselves when they’re supposed to be working, whether that involves feeding silly lines to talking tom cats or downloading uncharacteristically well-written essays. When I worked as a teacher, the staffroom was full of tales of ‘computer lessons’ spent trying to stop kids watching slo-mo replays of celebrity wardrobe malfunctions or people injuring themselves horribly. By pushing iPads into schools without a clear plan, schools risk them becoming an overpriced distraction instead of a useful teaching tool.”

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