One of the biggest assets is that the kids engage with it so easily. Also the advantages are that it is portable, light and colourful. For those lower ability classes – it’s absolutely instant; you can flick from one thing to the other. I actually think the book application is the least interesting things about the IPAD. I have a couple of bottom classes; they are not engaged in the written word on the IPAD. They are much more engaged in the doing/interactive things on the IPAD. Putting interactivity books such as images that move will engage students.
I’ve tried putting a science textbook on PDF, it was interesting to zoom in diagrams but i would like to see interactive experiments on the screen. We’ve also used the IPAD through Google Earth for Geography, I think the potential is unlimited and for publishers to come onboard. In Australia, I think publishers haven’t figured out how to market it and how to make money from an app compared to a $50 textbook. Sure there will be some issues around copyright and licencing problems, my discussions with publishers haven’t been very helpful in this context.
I have found my Year 9 Students who really struggle with English, get excited about Scrabble and even boys who really are difficult to engage in anything were having alternate turns in doing Scrabble against the computer. It helps with their spelling and it was fascinating that an old fashioned thing such as Scrabble but those kids are rediscovering this through this format. To be perfectly honest if I had a twenty minute period of a lesson and everyone was engaged on the IPADs on scrabble, academically I would think it was fantastic. This is because of the words the computer comes up with are words the kids haven’t come up with, so this has lots of application and is very exciting.
I would agree some modifications need to be made but their potential to hold so much and the applications there is out there and with more to come out means that it’s a tool that we’ll be definitely be using. They are fabulous, lighter and portable than a laptop.
I must admit that Joan is going to have a hard battle getting the IPAD off me! I have really enjoyed it, and if I’m feeling that way at my age, my kids are going to really benefit.
(Part of an interview with Lancelot Yu Masters student ACU)