How the iPad Can Change Students’ Game

At the end of last week’s post, How the iPad has Changed my Game, I wondered what it would be like for students to have an iPad for school. I did some very informal research and sent my iPad off with different students this week for a day and asked them to use it however they could during the school day to help them with their school work.

One day with an iPad is no true test, but the students were obviously very excited to try it out. Here is what they had to say:

J., 7th grade:

I think that schools should get iPads for the school because it can help kids in so many ways.  Taking notes, using it  as an agenda mate or even studying with flash cards.  You can go on the internet to research.

K., 7th grade:

The iPad was very useful during my classes. In music when I finished my composition in music I showed the teacher the piano app. I also used this as an agenda mate when my hands got tired of writing. If I needed to look up a definition I had a dictionary at hand. In lunch, my friends and I had music to listen to when we had finished eating and cleaned up. I liked everything about the iPad. If I could use it in school everyday, I would.

T., 8th grade

I used it in science to take notes. If I had an iPad to use in school I would use it everyday. I would use it as an agenda mate and I would take all my notes on it.

D., 8th grade

In art I was using Doodle Buddy. I think the iPad is something good for students to have in school. It would be good to have as an agenda mate or research tool.

What is the difference between a tablet like the iPad and a laptop? The two main reasons I see are the form-factor (flat book vs. bulky keyboard and screen) and the availability of apps. In speaking with and observing these students using the iPad, I started to think about the various ways it could fit into each and every class – walk the halls with me for a few minutes…

1st period, Science: Collect microscope data using the ProScope Mobile

2nd period, ELA: Enter/edit literary responses in a discussion forum

3rd period, Music: Compose music and email the music and notation files with the app, Music Composer

4th period, Spanish: Record target language conversations with the app, Voice Memos for iPad, and email them to the teacher

5th peroid, Math: Practice solving equations in the app, Draw for iPad, and share them with classmates over Bluetooth

6th period, Social Studies: Review historical videos on YouTube or Discovery Education Streaming

7th period, Band: Put the iPad on the music stand and play music from the app, Scorcerer

8th period, Physical Education: Enter fitness data into a Google spreadsheet (AFTER keeping iPad in locker room and moving actively for 40 minutes in class…)

9th period, Art: Sketch designs using the app, Doodle Buddy, and post work to the class website

So that is just a glimpse of what could be. All in a device that just turns on (as opposed to boots up) and tucks in your arm like a book. There is a incredible amount of room for deepening the learning experience for students. I totally acknowledge the proprietary nature of the iPad and some inherent limitations, but I’m still sold.

So the question becomes, does the school try to provide the iPads, or come up with some unique solution where families purchase them and get to keep them?






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