More and more schools are jumping on the technology train. EducationNews.org reports that approximately 2,000 schools and districts are providing electronic devices for use by students. For example, Camilla Gagliolo, an instructional technology coordinator for Arlington Public Schools, explains that “kids are not only able to access material but use a number of tools to construct learning in a completely different way from what they’ve seen before.”
One of the more interesting issues surrounding technology usage in the classroom is that it alters the traditional student/teacher relationship. Before, the teacher served as the only beacon of knowledge in the classroom. They sometimes used outdated textbooks and built their curriculum off from available materials. Nowadays, using iPads in the classroom allows students to record the lectures and dive deeper into more complicated topics later on. Getting students to do independent thinking and research a topic on their own becomes more commonplace with available technology. Financially, purchasing textbooks is probably more expensive in the long run for schools. Each book lasts five to seven years and is outdated almost immediately. Investing the money upfront for iPads allows districts to update digital textbooks more effectively.
In past years, schools might have frowned upon too much technology integration within the classroom. With tablets and the digital-textbook age however, schools are beginning to embrace the possibilities. Bringing tablets into classrooms for students can allow them to interact with technology they might not usually see at home. With such a huge emphasis on social media, computers, and ever-evolving gadgets, it only makes sense that schools stay hip with the times. Although parents probably don’t want their kids sitting and playing Angry Birds all day or using the iPad to take funny pictures when they’re supposed to be studying, it seems like a good idea to utilize a wide range of learning tools. Not all schools have the money to buy iPads for students though, and many argue that the extra money should instead go to teachers who have long gotten the short end of the stick as far as salaries go.
What do you think about iPad usage in classrooms? Is it a waste of money? Is it a good idea or should the money be put back towards teaching salaries? Share your opinions in the comment box below!