The iPod changed how we listen to music. The iPhone advanced
the limitations of smartphone technology. Now the iPad is
changing mobile computing. New technology has its way of making
it into the educational setting. The entrance of the iPad
is now on our doorsteps.
iPad can inspire creativity and hands on learning not found
in any other educational tool. It is a gadget that students
want to make use of, and allows them to engage interactively
with new content, find information quickly, and have access
to a library wherever they are. The iPad has changed the way
a student accesses all types of information – media,
academic research, and books – for a lower cost than
The mobility of an iPad provides wireless connectivity anywhere
students are; a classroom without walls. This provides access
to information on demand as questions arise with no down time
in a research process.
As physical educators our classroom provides a wonderful
opportunity for our students to be bodily- kinesthetic learners.
The iPad's motion sensor allows students to use their hands
in guiding the iPad to balance skills. Imagine being able
to measure levels of exertion, balance, and repetitions using
a rubberized iPad. The iPad camera, portable and easy to use,
provides opportunities of documentation at a whole different
level, along with note taking that can be instantly teamed
up and shared.
Despite the newness of the iPad in an educational setting,
a recent research study in Auburn, Maine has found some interesting
and positive results. Half of the districts' sixteen kindergarten
classes were randomly assigned iPads for nine weeks. One hundred
twenty-nine students used an iPad while one hundred thirty-seven
were without. All of the students were tested before and after
the iPads were introduced into the classrooms.
Post-literacy testing found that those students who used
the iPads improved on every tested literacy measure. Test
scores are not the only measures that were important, but
also the interaction of the kindergartners with the iPad and
the applications used. The level of excitement for learning
and engagement in the iPad classrooms was extremely high.
The iPad applications used were interactive and provided immediate
feedback, reinforcing fundamental literacy concepts and skills.
The iPads allowed teachers the opportunity to customize applications
to match the instructional needs of each student learning
at their own level and pace.
Watch this 8 minute video. This future
teacher is very convincing in regard to iPads used in
physical education! Great explanations!
Imagine that your school has just received a huge technology
grant, and every student will be given an iPad. Now what?
What apps should be used? You do not want to see your students
Birds on their iPad all day.
Finding Educational Apps
Teachers with an enthusiasm for technology, and a passion
for developing the minds of their students, can easily discover
creative ways to incorporate the iPad into the daily routine.
The challenge is to find ways to apply them to the learning
process. Applications, better known as "apps," automate
current processes and present new ways to learn that were
Here is a list of sites that provide educational app downloads
for free, or for a small cost, that you may find helpful.
This site has over 1800 educational apps that have been reviewed
by Apple Distinguished Educators. The apps have been evaluated
and tested in different grades, classroom setting, and instructional
strategies. Apps can be found according to themes, teachers,
multiple intelligences, and Blooms'
Taxonomy to name a few.
This site is provides reviews of educational apps based on
a five star scale. Educational quality, engagement factor,
and shelf life are used to evaluate a wide range of subject
apps for pre-school through middle school.
This site provides reviews of educational apps by real trials;
searching out those apps that are educational and catch a
child’s attention. Reviews are in-depth and provide
lots of pictures of the app.
Apps for Kids
This site provides a great breakdown of educational apps by
sharing the good, the bad, and the bottom line of apps for
pre-school through high school. The site is easy to navigate
with a menu that allows you to search by device, rating, category,
or subject matter.
This site provides extensive reviews by two educators who
have included videos and images. The lengthy reviews are ideal
for teachers who may be looking for the perfect classroom
Schrock's Guide to Everything
This page on Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything
website has it all – tutorials, apps, evaluation tools
for educational apps, lesson plans, and iPad classroom uses
to name a few. This is one of those one-stop sites for iPads
in an educational setting.
If you are ready to head into the iPad classroom experience,
here is a link to a wiki that will prepare you for that:
With Your iPad Wiki
This is a wiki that provides phenomenal resources, questions
and answers, and ideas about using an iPad in your classroom.
People continue to make arguments for and against the use
of technology in the classroom. I am of the opinion that there
is no way technology should be left out of our classrooms.
There is no going back to not using technology. As educators,
we must be prepared to use technology that measurably improves
student learning. Twenty first century computing is now mainstream
and jargon such as BYOD (bring your own device) is the wave
of the future in education.