There are a number of reasons why Citipointe Christian College chose the iPad as the best overall device for students to use at school. Many of the benefits, some specific to iPad are listed below. Factors for teaching: to complete a consistent integrated technology platform across the College; for learning: to provide the facility for personalised, independent learning for our students; for parents: to source a reasonably priced device which would satisfy both of these requirements.
The decision to choose the iPad was a result of a number of device trials, conducted in various classes in 2013 (see “The Journey” for more details). While it is widely acknowledged the iPad is not best device for all students for every learning activity, (see “Specialist Subject Info” for more details) we believe that the versatility the iPad offers, lends it to clearly being the teaching and learning device of choice.
Amongst other things the iPad enables students the:
Ability to create songs, music, animations, comics, movies, augmented reality, technical expression.
Ability to collaborate working with peers, sharing ideas and activites, documents and thoughts.
Ability to consume information and interact anywhere anytime access to class notes through the use of blackboard or interactive text books through iBooks or iTunesU.
Ability to consolidate through the myriad of educational apps that are available, as well as through teacher produced lessons and activity books.
What students think:
I like using iPads because I can sit anywhere, they are easy to use and I don’t have to wait for them to turn on and log in
iPads are good and helpful, especially with research projects.
iPads are fun to do research or use Targeting Maths or Blackboard Learn
I enjoy iPads because they are versatile and convenient. They are high quality and have all the functions of a computer
iPads are awesome… They are so much quicker than computers!
A teacher perspective:
The iPad has proven to be a tool that is highly effective, and by its very design, allows for a differentiated curriculum in which students experience success at varying levels within the Media Arts strand of the Australian Curriculum.
iPads are used with Year 1 in a variety of ways. During maths class they are a tool that assists to reinforce quick recall of number facts. Specifically designed apps both allow the children to demonstrate their learning and give instant feedback to the child. In spelling the iPad allows for a differentiated curriculum. Extending children who spell proficiently and supporting those who require it. They can practice spelling at an appropriate level, be tested and receive instant feedback.
Apps such as Dyslexia Quest have helped our students with literacy issues improve by engaging students on a creative and interactive level. Working memory activities have also been used with great effect. For students with spelling difficulties, apps have been used to test and teach weekly spelling words. This fun, interactive approach has ensured some students who felt frustrated about spelling to feel success and see improvement in their results.
When a child has an iPad in their hands their enthusiasm changes. They feel more in control of their learning and feel as though they are able to accomplish more. Whether it is an app or the ability to research more freely, our students are digital natives so they feel comfortable with technology in their hands.
Parents see the benefits:
My daughter seems to be permanently attached to her iPad, but in a good way! She has all the information she needs at her fingertips. One of the habits I love that she has developed is using it as a mobile diary recording her homework and lists of priorities on route to wherever we seem to be going after school. This means she maximises her time and also gets it written down while still in her head at the end of each day. So by the time we make it home she has a plan to initiate straight away without scrambling to collate lots of bits of paper. It has the capability of course to quickly record information visually too like from a whiteboard I guess. As an extension of this she uses the visual recorder as a creative device when illustrating her written work photographically as with her recent XP portfolio. Whereas you might often have a huge pile of books in front of you while working on an assignment, my daughter seems to have streamlined things with the iPad, being able to research and record site references etc all in the one spot so things don’t get lost so easily.