Greater student engagement and higher test scores are the results teachers are reporting, since hundreds of California middle school students started using school-issued iPads, eSchool News reports. In the four-district pilot, the students are “using curriculum apps for their classwork and homework” in a variety subjects, including language arts and math. One district told eSchool News that “90.5% of students using iPads are testing as proficient or above on benchmark tests, compared with 60% in other classes.” One of the side benefits for students, apparently, is having all their schoolwork in one “place” wherever they are – not scattered between home, school locker, and backpack (sounds like the reason why laptops we all could get used to). A somewhat surprising side benefit for schools: “Discipline issues have almost disappeared since iPads were introduced to students, who risk losing theirs if they misbehave,” one school reported. “More districts across California and elsewhere are putting in orders for iPads,” the article adds.
In Illinois, the iPad experiment involves preschoolers and kindergarteners, as dozens of their teachers are “adding iPads to their classroom stocks of pencils and paints in an effort to hook young learners with the newest technology craze at the same time – or even before – their parents adopt it,” the Chicago Tribune reports (via Edweek.org). The Trib quotes one school superintendent as saying that teaching with these tools is “teaching to their world.” Absolutely, and this really illustrates why it’s so important to model and teach good citizenship – respect for each person’s perspective, property, and powers (including technological) both online and offline, at home and at school – from the first day a connected device goes into children’s powerful little hands, no? [See also “iPads to be required in Tenn. School” – the signs are multiplying that this may be a better way to go than 1 laptop per student.]
Emily A. Valdez says
Is this a program that might come to fruition in the near future?
I have kids, both use PC’s and Mac’s at home. They are more interested in homework when it is done via internet, or just on a computer to print out.
As the head of a very low-income family, I am hoping this program will become available to local Portland (Oregon) Public School students. I have not read anything recently about this, except for an east Portland school which accepted delivery of cases new iPads.
How can I make my concerns (meaning my full support) heard?
Emily, sorry it took me so long to get to your comment, here! Not sure what program you’re asking about. Do you mean one-to-one laptop programs, or BYOT (for “bring your own technology”) programs in schools that have kids bring their own tablet computers and mobile phones? That’s just happening in some school districts around the country – and some states, but not many. Maine has had a 1:1 laptop program in place for years. Maybe you could call district officials in your district, write the school board, or ask to talk to the board when it holds a public meeting? It’d probably help to find out what’s in the works, if anything, from an administrator or two at your children’s school(s). Just some thought that I hope are a little helpful. All my best,
Do I detect a smile behind your question? Yeah, that would be a pretty effective disciplinary measure for a teacher to offer, probably.
So if the student tries to misuse the iPad they have to use books and paper?