Purchasing iPads For The Classroom Read This First
==== ====For Latest iPad Information Click Here Now!http://tiny.cc/Ipad-How-To-Videos==== ====In the 1980s our local superintendent made a huge production out of being the first district in thearea to purchase and place 5 computers in each district classroom. This expenditure turned out tobe a waste of money for many reasons. For more detail see my article, "Evolution of Technologyin the Classroom: Will We Ever Get It Right?"The most foolish part of this purchase was the fact that ZERO dollars were budgeted for teachertraining and ZERO dollars for computer maintenance. There is the potential that the same thingwill happen with many schools in their purchase of iPads. If you considering acquiring iPad sets foruse in the classroom consider the questions below before deciding to purchase.Is there research, other than anecdotal, that indicates iPad use significantly improves studentachievement? "Kids love using the iPad. Their interest level is so much higher than before" isanecdotal evidence. Its interesting, but it cant be used to determine that the iPad increasesstudent achievement.Is teacher training included as part of the budget for iPad purchases? Learn the lesson that mysuperintendent didnt. Money for training is every bit as important as money for purchases. Peopledont use what they dont understand.Is the cost of maintenance, covers, replacements and insurance included in the budget? Again,see the article "Evolution of Technology in the Classroom: Will We Ever Get It Right?"How will the iPads be secured and where will they be stored in the classroom? This is ahousekeeping detail that can be incredibly significant. Many classrooms dont have the securespace to secure these devices. If they are stored in a central area, then the teacher will have to goget them and then return them every time they need to be used.How will the iPads be recharged and where will this done? My guess is that teachers will beexpected to plug in 30+ iPads, charge them, then unplug them and put them into storage. A verytime-consuming task. Is that how you want the teacher to spend her time?How will the iPad apps be updated? Is there currently a way to add and remove applications inmass from school iPads? If not, will teachers have to do them individually or have students do theupdates?Currently, only certain HP printers can be used to print from iPad. How will students getinformation from the iPad to hard copy the teacher? This is an important consideration. Im surethis will change in the future, but what about right now? If the students send the assignments tothe teacher, is the teacher expected to print them out?
How long will iPads last under classroom conditions? This is an unknown at this point.If the iPads are a class set how will one students files be protected from viewing and changing byother students using that same iPad? There is no current way to set up safe files that otherstudents cant access. Some schools use the "honor system" to keep kids from messing withanothers students files. This is not a good system, and impacts student right to privacy.Will students be allowed access to email? If it is active, how will they be prevented from emailingtheir friends? If its not active, how will they get information to their teacher?iPad 2s have cameras. Can this feature be turned on and off? It would be great to have camerasfor kids to use- sometimes. But for most class work the cameras should be turned off. You dontwant kids taking pictures of each other, or even worse, a picture of your bottom when you arebending over.What if a student deliberately damages an iPad? Rules will need to be set up, parents will need tosign permission slips.Will students be allowed to download and remove applications? There are lots of "naughty"applications out there. How will this be policed?Does the school have wireless servers and iPad compatible wireless printers?Has money been put aside to pay for apps and app updates?Will there be an iPad set available for every classroom? If not how will it be determined who getsthem? If these are intended to increase student achievement, who decides who gets to use them?In an age when teachers are increasingly evaluated based on student test scores, this is a veryimportant issue.iPads do not have a keyboard of sufficient size to type essays. iPads are not intended for heavykeyboarding and its very slow and tiresome.Most teachers have still never seen an iPad, let alone know how to use one. If teacher training isnot part of the budget, the iPads will not be used to their full potential. If teachers are expected, orrequired, to use iPads in lessons then they must be trained in how to use the device, given time tocreate lessons (preferably working with peers), and applications will need to be purchased that willfit the curriculum for which the iPad is used.The Technology Fix: The Reality of Computers in our Schools, by William D. Pflaum is afascinating book about the promise of computers in education vs. the reality of what actuallyhappened. One of his major conclusions is that computers didnt revolutionize education becausestudents didnt use them often enough.(An average of 1 classroom hour weekly.) Would eachstudent have access to an iPad for a longer period than this? If not, then meaningful results aredoubtful.To me, there are far too many unanswered questions about the iPad at this point. I certainly think
there will be educational application for its use in the classroom. However, in these tight budgettimes, I dont think iPads are a justifiable use of scarce tax dollars. Studies have consistentlyshown that the #1 factor in the success of a student is the teacher. Money put into effectiveteacher training provides a lot more bang for the buck than the latest gadget.Barbara is a professional speaker, seminar/workshop presenter, staff development trainer with 32years of classroom experience.Her book, A Teachers Book of 10s: Best ways to Do Everything in Your Classroom, will bepublished in the Summer of 2011.Contact Barbara at http://www.barbaratoney.comArticle Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Barbara_A_Toney==== ====For Latest iPad Information Click Here Now!http://tiny.cc/Ipad-How-To-Videos==== ====