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Originally posted on IOE LONDON BLOG:
Ruth Heilbronn What professions are likely to be tempted into unethical behaviour? Bankers? Politicians? Journalists? What about teachers? They are not the first group of professionals who spring to mind, yet teachers are frequently drawn into tensions over what is the right thing to do because of the conflict…

Links / Research / Teaching & Learning

An Apple for the teacher: are iPads the future in class?

David Andrews embarked on an iPad journey with his school last year. Here he tells us about using the devices in his classroom Share 71 Email David Andrews Guardian Professional, Monday 13 August 2012 10.15 BST Jump to comments (…) iPads in primary school: David’s three-year-old daughter helped him to see the potential of using tablets in his classroom. Photograph: Dimitris Legakis/D Legakis Photography/Athena I’m a self-confessed Apple fanatic so I was curious to see how iPads and iPods could be used successfully in a primary school. I was sure they would inspire and encourage the teachers I work with to take a chance and think outside their comfort zone and embrace new technology. But before our school jumped on the iPad bandwagon, I wanted to determine how these devices were going to offer a better learning experience compared to the laptops that we already had in our school. My ‘iPad journey’ began approximately a year ago, when I bought an iPad 2. I was hooked. My then three-year-old daughter, was also showing an interest. It was at this point that I was beginning to see the huge potential that this device could have in schools. She was learning to count, do simple subtraction and addition problems, recognise different shapes, listen to stories, learn her alphabet, beginning to spell out words and learn how to write letters, all this with very little guidance or support – plus she was having fun learning. Having seen the huge potential of the iPads as an educational tool, I decided to investigate the pros and cons of iPads compared to laptops in the classroom. In my mind these were the pros: • Ease and speed of use and accessibility: The touch interface and app system on the iPad makes it easy to access learning tools. On a laptop you have to open the lid, turn it on, wait for it to load, log in to your account and then wait for the operating system to load. • Audio visual (AV) tools: The iPad has extremely easy access to AV tools (camera, video and voice recorder) which can be used creatively across countless number of apps. The laptop does have built-in cameras and microphones but they are so much more difficult to use and could require an additional piece of hardware to be connected and installed. • Books: iPads are great for reading. iBooks allow the user to annotate, highlight and look up the meaning of words. • Creativity: The in-built AV tools means that the iPad has endless possibilities to be used creatively in any subject in the school curriculum, it just need imagination. For example there are apps for drawing, editing photos, creating movies, ebooks, animations and photo stories, composing music, writing graphical novels and other useful creative apps. In addition, many of these apps have the option to publish work to larger audiences online, increasing the incentive for the children to produce quality pieces of work. The laptop doesn’t have the same efficiency and ease of use that the iPad has and the touch interface just makes it more fun and interactive. And here are the cons: • Adobe’s Flash and Javascript: One of the biggest criticisms of the iPad is its inability to work with Adobe Flash and Javascript. A lot of content in schools is dominated by Flash. Despite this, it could be argued that the iPad easily makes up for this restriction with a huge selection of apps. • Multitasking: A drawback with the iPads is the fact that multiple ‘windows’ or files cannot be kept open, side-by-side unlike on computers, although there are apps that allow multiple pages to be open side by side. • Word processing: The iPad is quite limited as a device that you would use regularly to word process on. I much prefer to type lengthy documents on my computer, where I can switch quickly between browser, word processing and email. Despite this I still use the iPad regularly for light writing such as emails and Twitter. The next part of the iPad journey was to get these tablets into the hands of the teachers and provide adequate training and support. It was decided after numerous discussions that all 23 teachers should have their own iPad first before a big investment for the future was made. This decision was not made lightly, but it was decided on the basis that if this handheld technology is going to have maximum impact throughout the school, from the nursery through to Year 6, then teachers had to be confident with this technology. Initially, five members of staff (head, deputy, phase leaders and ICT co-ordinator) were given an iPad. This was a chance for them to discover apps, become confident with the device, to make sure that an investment in this technology was going to be worthwhile and ultimately how they could use the iPad to impact children’s learning. All the teaching staff (23) were given iPads as it was agreed if this device was going to have maximum impact in the school then teachers had to be confident with this technology. The apps that were put onto teacher’s iPads had been thoroughly researched, as the app store can be a daunting place searching for appropriate apps for educational purposes. These apps are by no means an exhaustive list and I envisage them constantly evolving. To aid teachers in their choices in apps I collected useful apps by subject area, including apps for creativity, teachers and children with special education needs. Below I’ve listed a selection of my top 10 apps for creativity, as I feel these can have the biggest impact on teaching and learning in the classroom: iMovie: add video, photos, music and sound effects and trim the length of any clip. You can create trailers with immersive graphics and original scores, build polished projects with themes, record and edit soundtracks. Creative Book Builder: add paragraphs, images, videos, audio recording and links. You can also add page breaks with chapters, change font and preview in iBooks. GarageBand: turns your iPad into a collection of touch instruments and a full-featured recording studio. Play pianos, organs, guitars, drums and basses, which sound and play like their counterparts, but let you do things you could never do on a real instrument. Strip Designer: create comic strips using photos from your photo album. Select one of many page templates and insert photos, add balloons with words and add additional symbols to spice up a story. Explain Everything: easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate and narrate explanations and presentations. Create interactive lessons, activities, assessments and tutorials. Skitch: use shapes, arrows, sketches and text annotation on photos, screenshots, maps and web pages then share them. Videoscribe: create animated videos that replicate the stop-motion capture style of drawings that’s so popular on commercials. SonicPics: turns your images into a custom slideshow movie. Add voiceover narrating your image as you swipe through them. Brushes: features advanced colour pickets, several realistic brushes, multiple layers, extreme zooming and a simple interface. Records all your actions when painting. I Can Animate: capture frames using the in build camera, displays onion skinning, undo support, preview whole projects and then add to an iMovie project for a really polished movie. You can read example case studies on how apps can be used creatively at: As I only really managed to scratch the surface of the apps on the teachers iPads in the training session, it was decided that we should ask other teachers to get involved to share their knowledge of an app because teachers were clearly embracing this technology. For example, one teacher had done some fantastic artwork using Brushes, one had created some great iMovie trailers with his children and another had created his own music in GarageBand. This creativity had to be shared. Therefore, throughout the summer-term every Monday during our staff meeting I timetabled teachers to share an app with the rest of the staff. Giving the teaching staff time to become familiar and sharing good practice using the iPads has been a great success. Seeing the potential these devices could have on teaching and learning has meant the school has now invested in a managed wireless system, 16 iPads with a syncing/charging trolley in both key stage one and two and 62 iPods with syncing/charging units to be used in year six. Starting in September I plan to use both iPads and iPods creatively, by using a combination of apps, which can be used across the curriculum to engage, motivate and inspire children’s learning in the classroom. I want the children in my class to create content, not necessarily always accessing it. If the iPads don’t enhance the learning of the children that I teach, then I shouldn’t be using them. David Andrews has been teaching for seven years, spending the past six years at Spring Cottage Primary School, Hull in Year 6. David blogs here and tweets as @dmandrews15. This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional. Sign up to the Guardian Teacher Network to get access to more than 100,000 pages of teaching resources and join our growing community. Looking for your next role? See our Guardian jobs for schools site for thousands of the latest teaching, leadership and support jobs Article history Teacher Network Blog Education Schools · Secondary schools · IT for schools · Primary schools · Teaching · Computer science and IT Series Digital literacy campaign More from Digital literacy campaign on Education Schools · Secondary schools · IT for schools · Primary schools · Teaching · Computer science and IT More blogposts Join our growing community of teachers Register for free to access thousands of resources, receive weekly newsletters, job alerts, seminar discounts and more Cloud computing, apps and mobile phones Understand the effective use school IT communication systems Looking for a new teaching role? Browse Guardian jobs for schools to find hundreds of vacancies for teachers The 10 best websites for teaching ICT Whether you want to make music, edit photos or create a game, ICT guru and author Ian Addison recommends his favourite online tools for getting creative in class How to take a great teaching idea and turn it into an app That’s what assistant principal Kristian Still did – with a little help from his Y7 class and a software designer. Social media for schools: a guide to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest Using social media in schools doesn’t have to be scary. Here’s our bloggers tips for managing school accounts and some examples good practice Don’t let e-safety worries be a barrier to using social media in school Simple steps from e-safety expert Alan Mackenzie on how to improve the safety and security of social networking in schools How to teach computer science in schools A round up of computer resources Secret Teacher has had it with WALTS, WILFS and other education jargon Elaborate acronyms and jargon have taken over education and are becoming increasingly ridiculous, says this week’s anonymous educational facilitator The power of Twitter How I became a convert to Twitter • The teaching and education community on Twitter is truly inspirational Is it time to rebrand ICT? Including computer science into your curriculum might be intimidating but it IS necessary, argues Matt Britland Island for sale A resource to encourage pupils to read the news and create a sales brochure. Playful learning: Games in education Combining thoughts, observations, tools and practical tips to help you understand more about using and making computer games in the classroom. Share Email Ads by Google Equity Release Calculator Unlock The Cash Tied Into Your Home Over 55? Use Our Calculator Today! Gaia 3D STEM Curriculum Improving student academic results in maths, science and technology. CELTA ,TEFL Training Brighton and Hove CELTA DELTA, Teacher Training Comments 36 comments, displaying first Staff Contributor Open for comments. Sign in or create your Guardian account to join the discussion. lisaspiller 13 August 2012 10:22AM Please share with us how/if you are using Apple products and technology in your classroom and if they’ve made any difference to your pupils’ learning. Recommend? (2) Responses (0) Report Share CoobyTavern 13 August 2012 10:32AM We are getting apple ipads to take the roll but if it can do other things great. I hope you will keep us posted on any new ideas that you find useful. Recommend? (1) Responses (0) Report Share Existangst 13 August 2012 10:42AM No please no. Where is the money to pay for this coming from? Recommend? (10) Responses (0) Report Share negritoamericano 13 August 2012 11:21AM As an English teacher here in Spain, I am a little leery of jumping on the entire iPad kick, which is how I see it right now. Why? Because so many people are talking about apps, but no one has given any concrete studies about how the apps are helping students to learn. Sure, there is a lot written about the potential of how apps can help students learn, but where are the lesson plans for those apps that teachers can use in their classroom right away? I think that too many people are jumping on this bandwagon to try to be the next iPad guru, but, what we fail to realize is, after it is all said and done, that quality teaching still comes from using pen and paper and the human touch. Let us not forget this as we rush to integrate technology, the iPad in this case, into the classroom. The iPad is hot right now, but what will it be in the next 5 years? Recommend? (23) Responses (0) Report Share Ringster 13 August 2012 11:31AM An iPad is javascript friendly. Recommend? (0) Responses (0) Report Share Andy Smith 13 August 2012 12:00PM At primary level, yes these are great bits of kit that help to reinforce literacy and numeracy. However, the author’s daughter was using it in her free time and as a means of entertainment. If teachers were to give students an ipad in a classroom environment would they still see it as entertainment or a chore. Being told to do something does take the enjoyment out of it. If the ipads were give to students to play with and only had a selection of educational apps to use then this would restrict their use to education whilst the students would have fun. I work at secondary level and think that the best use for these ipads is as readers. They could read some things aloud for those who might otherwise struggle, change fonts, change colours to act as a filter, etc. The would also cut down on photocopying which is always a plus. The only thing is that it would cost an excessive amount for a class set. Assuming they are £300 each that is £4500 for 15 (1 between 2 in a class of 30). Add to this the maintenance cost, there will be broken screens and charging time and the ipads begin to look like a hassle. RM run the IT in my school and they have their own tablets, but these use windows vista so the quick startup time is lost and they are quite heavy; resembling a closed laptop with the screen on the outside. If there was a cheap, lightweight, fast loading tablet then I would be jumping to get hold of it. Recommend? (2) Responses (0) Report Share roganis 13 August 2012 2:31PM Bring a pencil day. Year 6 had a wonderful time last week when, as part of our “Historical Artefact Investigation”, we had “Bring a Pencil Day”. Luckily, we had generous grandparents who had a few of these obsolete items lying around and the children had a great time analysing their properties. Unfortunately, even some of our top performers found it difficult to deal with these dinosaur age relics. Rescue was at hand though! One of our rather aged, uncool teachers (no names though, don’t want to embarrass anyone!) was able to show the children (and me!!!) How to Hold a Pencil. Some of the results were fascinating. With some of the top performers, one could just about make out what passed for a word or two. Later, the children had a lot of fun when we put the end results on the pin board and played a game of “Whose Name Is It?” However, there was a serious Health and Safety element that we overlooked when using these particular Historical Artefacts. As Head Boy, Edward Estateagentdad, pointed out to me in an email he sent at 2.00am while playing “Cannibal Nazi Zombie Holocaust” on his Xbox – “Oi, Head Bruv! Wot’s wiv da pencil malarkey? They all got sharp, pointy bit wot cud hav gone in me eye! Know wot I mean, bruv!!! No more danger to da kids in da class, yeh, an I mean yeh!!! An dat’s da troof, bruv! Anyways, respect to da Head from da Head Boy!! Yours Sincerely Edward” Well said, Edward. It’s well seeing why we chose you as this year’s Head Boy. Respect to you too, bruv! Recommend? (5) Responses (0) Report Share PadraigDeBrun 13 August 2012 3:17PM I love the enthusiasm of this teacher. Having begun a doctorate in New Technologies I gave up, three years later, concluding that technologies are an educational tool, not an answer. This luddite tendency continues; though as an ex-teacher, it still gives me a thrill to read such an excited account. My own feeling is that technology is too changeable still to have a lasting effect; the IPad will soon be outdated. I am happy to be proven wrong, however. Recommend? (4) Responses (0) Report Share Julia Dunlop 13 August 2012 5:42PM I can’t believe this. Why hitch your wagon specifically to Apple? It may be fashionable now, but you can’t continue to use it without paying, paying and then paying again to another greedy US company. Everything to do with Apple products is specifically designed to only run with other Apple products – what about using cheaper, non-brand specific alternatives? I think it is utterly ludicrous that a branded, closed-source product is being seen as the way forward. Recommend? (5) Responses (0) Report Share Brainetics 13 August 2012 6:54PM As an educator, I believe it is very important to teach material that is important for the future of the students. When inventing my math and memory system Brainetics (, I wanted to focus on new subjects and innovative methods to teach. By teaching for the 21st century, students will be more prepared in the future. It seems like so many aspects of today’s society centers around the digital environment and teaching should be altered to adapt. Great article, Mike Byster Inventor of Brainetics, Educator, Author of Genius, Mathematician Recommend? (0) Responses (0) Report Share slc2173 14 August 2012 2:23AM I think you’re making a huge mistake, and I’d like to explain why. I also work in the educational sector, so I’ve had a good amount of experience with classrooms. – iPads are extremely expensive. How are you getting this money? Can you really not think of any better way to use this money? This is a waste of taxpayer dollars. If I my kid starting using iPads in school, I’d be livid. – Having an iPad in the classroom gives students an extremely easy way to goof off. – iPads aren’t even the best tablet to use. They’re too bulky and big for children to use conveniently. A 7 inch tablet would be much preferable, such as the Blackberry Playbook or Google Nexus 7. My coworkers tell me the Playbook is really excellent, and I’ve used the Nexus and it’s brilliant. They’re both also significantly cheaper, though I still don’t think they’re worth investing in for the classroom Please, please reconsider. Use the money to take them to a museum. Use it to buy lunch for the poorer children, to buy musical instruments for the class, for a more interactive playground, to buy books to read. I implore you not to fall into the “trendiness” of iPads for the classroom. Recommend? (5) Responses (0) Report Share MissRB 14 August 2012 9:40AM In a few weeks I will be beginning my teaching career in a new Academy. In this school it is the plan to provide every student with an iPad. I can’t claim to be without reservations. There are definitely risks – on the practical side there is the constant struggle with technology (internet bandwidth, wifi signal, tablets crashing), not to mention the concern about students remembering their devices each day- with their not breaking them, losing them or selling them on eBay. There are also issues with staff training. Many of us are relatively computer literate but have never used an iPad before in our lives. There is a large responsibility on us to familiarise ourselves with the device as soon as possible, as well as to discover our own ways to use it in the classroom. Of the 670,0000 odd apps in the Apple store, about a tenth are categorised under ‘Education’; meanwhile all over the Internet there are blogs, twitter feeds and ebooks full of advice and ideas. It’s an exciting prospect, but a somewhat overwhelming one- one which I hope that my colleagues are tackling with the same focus that I am this summer. You see, despite my apprehensions, I am determined to enter the classroom in September positively, with my iPad held high. I agree wholeheartedly that it is a learning tool, not an educational answer – but it is a tool with huge potential if used innovatively. It offers a new way to enter texts, delivering them alongside video and audio. It provides games to improve reading, spelling and numeracy. It can make Humanities real and engaging through simulations and other visuals. It both demands and facilitates creativity- opening up the possibility of alternative outputs such as blogs, podcasts, films and books. It overwhelmingly does not mean the death of pen and paper, but offers an additional way into learning to be used in sequence with these “dinosaur age relics”… Most importantly it is current and it is relevant. To the students coming into my school, education is neither of these things. Attainment is the lowest in the city, and positive engagement is inexistent. If these iPads can work in sync with a new school and a staff of newly invigorated teachers to excite children in an educational system that has failed them thus far then they will be worth every penny. Recommend? (4) Responses (0) Report Share negritoamericano 14 August 2012 11:14AM MissRB, Thanks for your response. I do feel your excitement and it appears that you are up for the challenge. That is great! You do bring up some good points, but, the use of the iPad in the classroom is still “just talk” at this point, along with the excitement of the possibilities and the potential of what can be done with it. I know that it will take years to really see teachers giving concrete examples of how the iPad helped their children learn a certain topic or subject. Much of what I have read on other sites are examples of teachers getting excited because, for example, they don’t have to teach fractions anymore because there is an “app” for that. I think that “apps” should be an extension and reinforcement of good quality teaching and not a replacement for it. The iPad is hot now, but what will it be in the next 5 years? Why can’t we bring in other tablets, like a slc2173 mentioned, rather than just focusing on the iPad? At the end of the day, it’s all aggressive marketing from Apple to get their product in as many hands as possible in order to be the leader in the tablet market. I am sitting back and waiting to see how it all plays out. We all know that it’s about trends in education, but what will never go away is sparking a child’s imagination and love of learning by finding out what interests the child and motivating him through that medium. Let us never forget that this is still at the heart of teaching. Recommend? (9) Responses (0) Report Share EmmaDrury 14 August 2012 11:15AM Thanks to everyone who has responded to this article so far – it has brought about a real mix of reactions and ideas. I was interested in negritoamericano’s comment that: “that quality teaching still comes from using pen and paper and the human touch” and I do agree – to an extent – because to me (as a former primary teacher and ICT lead) I believe teaching is all about balance – using the iPad (or whatever tablet/laptop) you want doesn’t mean that you have to do that exclusively and never use pens, paper or take them on a trip to a museum again – does it? Or do you feel, like slc2173 who says it is a waste of taxpayers’ cash: Use it to buy lunch for the poorer children, to buy musical instruments for the class, for a more interactive playground, to buy books to read. I do think the iPad/tablet is perfectly geared for use in primary and could/should be used judiciously to engage even the most reluctant reader/learner and also used to good effect with SEN pupils so would be fascinated to hear from any secondary teachers out there who have used it (or are planning to like Miss RB above) to see how well it worked in their classrooms. Recommend? (5) Responses (0) Report Share callmepolly 14 August 2012 11:45AM My large primary school has just invested in 30 iPads for the new school year. Additionally we’re getting 20 netbooks – hopefully resolving the no flash/ poor word processing limitations of iPads. These are to be shared among a school of 450 – to be used as and when it benefits children’s leaning. Our PTA, students and staff happily raised a phenomenal amount of money for this and the school is funding the updated wireless coverage through its budget. Our investment arose from the fact that our current bank of laptops was no longer fit for purpose and we had an ICT suite of only 16 computers in the upper school. A comment above mentioned that children are only engaged with these devices when it’s for play and that they will switch off when it involves learning. In my class (year 4) it is rare for children to switch off from their learning – maybe that commentator wasn’t a teacher, but it all depends on how your present the lesson. As for behavioural issues, again a decent teacher can handle behavioural issues whether or not it involves technology. Mobile devices management systems allow teachers to lock down iPads/Netbooks so that children can’t use them or only have access to certain programmes. One of my own professional development priorities as a teacher is to get the children out of class as much as possible and get them engaging with nature. Not all of this outdoors work will involve technology (lots of it involves mud!) but I’m excited about the opportunities it will provide – imagine den building turned into an instruction manual or video to share on our website. What it comes down to is that these devices are only tools, out of a number of other tools we have, which we can use to the best of our professional abilities and judgement to support teaching and learning. Expensive tools yes, so teachers need to ensure that they’re fully trained and are using them as best they can. We haven’t bought iPads for the teachers but will hopefully allow them to take them home for a weekend to explore and like the author of the article, a key element to using them effectively in our school will be sharing our discoveries and favourite apps during staff meeting time. I’m interested to see how other schools introduce iPads and mobile devices into teaching and learning. I’ll be in charge of introducing them to staff in the new year – a huge task – so find me on twitter at @callmepolly if you’re going through or have been through a similar journey. Thanks for a great article. Recommend? (3) Responses (1) Report Share Andy Smith 14 August 2012 3:51PM Response to callmepolly, 14 August 2012 11:45AM I think the comment you refer to was mine and I can say that I teach classes of up to 65 secondary kids in an open plan school. You cannot doubt that when activities are prescribed and restricted then it does diminish the enjoyment. I would add that there will be a reduction in the willingness to repeat activities at home as they had in school. Recommend? (2) Responses (0) Report Share callmepolly 14 August 2012 4:48PM Andy, I have no doubt that the enthusiasm levels in a primary class will be greatly different from a secondary class of 65 kids. Wow – I don’t envy you that challenge! I think, at our stage at least, the idea is not to restrict the children but rather to equip them with a variety of tools, whether traditional or technological, so that eventually they can (to a certain extent) take responsibility for how they learn and can decide how best they want to demonstrate their learning. Again, I’m speaking from a purely primary perspective here. And when it comes to mobile devices and app use, I fully expect the children to be leading the teachers part of the way, seeking out new apps for their learning at home and producing work using apps the teachers haven’t used yet. But how great is that! There’s always a reluctance to do homework but my lot much prefer doing their maths online, or even ocasional Internet research at home, than the usual worksheets. Recommend? (0) Responses (0) Report Share dmandrews15 14 August 2012 5:05PM Thanks for all the comment, it good to hear peoples opinion on iPads in Education. negritoamericano, Before the school made a heavy investment in iPads, I wanted to make sure that they were going to have an impact on the learning in my school. It wasn’t a decision made likely or because I wanted to be the next ‘iPad guru’. For example, I looked at how can the iPad could change the pedagogy of a design & technology project and how it could be use to impact on the teaching and learning in my class. You can see an example here on how the iPad was used to help children learn across the curriculum here (it’s a 3 parts case study): I agree its about sparking children’s imagination and love of learning, it just so happens that technology such as the iPad can do that, the children love working with this technology, and the results that the iPad can produce are something that children can feel proud of. The fact that the children can share their work easily from an iPad to a global audience such as a blog or YouTube/Vimeo gives the children a real purpose to produce a high standard of work, knowing that feedback could come from anywhere in the world. I enjoyed the parody ‘Bring a pencil day.’ by roganis Writing is a huge priority in all schools and I totally agree with Emma it’s about getting the balance correct and using technology when it can be used to engage children. For example the iPad could be used to provide a stimulus for writing such as through a game or watching a short video clip such as Cain’s Arcade or to write brochures using persuasive language as an iBook slc2173 & Julia Dunlop, In my opinion the iPad creates content in a way, which is engaging and polished that other devices cannot rival yet. I agree any mobile device such as the Playbook or Nexus 7 can assist the learning if used creatively, and if they can rival or even better the capabilities of the iPad, perhaps you could offer some suggestions? I would love to see a blog where a class have created quality work using other handheld devices. MissRB & Callmepolly, You might find my blog useful. I created the blog to help teachers find appropriate apps along with sharing some ideas on using iPads in the classroom. I’ve blogged about teacher training using the iPads and what I covered during the session and wireless issues we’ve had to resolve before we rolled out iPads. Recommend? (3) Responses (0) Report Share negritoamericano 14 August 2012 8:59PM dmandrews15, Thanks for your response. Please do not think that I was trying to call you the next “iPad guru,” because I wasn’t. I was speaking in general terms, if you didn’t catch that. I have looked at the links that you have posted and it’s interesting stuff there. I still say that in order for me to be convinced of the usefulness of the iPad in the classroom, I still need to see more concrete evidence and outcomes with it. I will ask the same question that was asked here before, why is it only the iPad and not other tablets in the classroom? This needs to be looked at as well and it is a valid question because I see this coming to a head of schools that have and those that have not. Savage inequalities. Cheers, Shawn Recommend? (6) Responses (0) Report Share negritoamericano 14 August 2012 9:33PM I just went back and read my comments, as well as those of others, and I do not want people to think that I am anti-iPad at all. I just think that we are asking some tough questions here, since many of us will be using the device in the classrooms with our students. I haven’t reached that point yet, and highly doubt that I will anytime soon. The majority of what I am reading here and on other websites is that teachers are just given an iPad without any training and are expected to work miracles. dmandrews15, I will bookmark your website because, as a teacher trainer myself, many of the participants in my courses ask about the iPad and how it has been used in classes. I will direct them to your site for sure. Read your answer about other devices. Not too convinced about the use of the word “polished” at the end of the day. If the other devices can give the same result, and since we are talking about children learning, do they really need the “polished” look or effect? Please remember, that this is not a personal attack on your words, just something to get people thinking, since the iPad is expensive and can be out of reach of the budget of many schools. Looking forward to your response. Shawn Recommend? (6) Responses (0) Report Share dmandrews15 14 August 2012 10:58PM Hi Shawn, Thanks for the reply. By concrete evidence I guess you mean improvements in levels/grades etc? Obviously, fairly early days for iPads in Education, so I think evidence like this is minimal at the moment, although I’ve found this link here: It’s certainly something we’re considering looking at next year, so keep an eye on the blog. I guess whether a school goes down the iPad route or down another handheld device route is a preference of the decision makers at schools. If a school has thoroughly research and trailed Blackberry’s Playbook or Nexus 7 as examples, and compared them to the functionality of the iPad and can see that these devices can have a better impact on teaching and learning, then why not invest in these devices as an alternative. My personal opinion is that the iPad is far superior and I’ve yet to be convinced otherwise. I would love to read a blog on how the Playbook, Nexus 7, or any other handheld device can be used innovately to engaged children’s learning. Does anyone have any links? Recommend? (3) Responses (2) Report Share negritoamericano 14 August 2012 11:39PM Response to dmandrews15, 14 August 2012 10:58PM dmandrews15, Ask and ye shall receive. Here is a link of someone who is seriously considering the Samsung Galaxy. We do have to realize that the iPad is very expensive and can put a serious dent in a school budget, a fact that cannot be denied. I, personally, am not into tablet devices at all, but I do like to keep abreast of what’s happening with technology and how people use it in the classroom. I do agree that it is too early for concrete evidence. What will be the hottest piece of technology in the next 5 years? Who knows? But I doubt that it will be the iPad since technology changes quickly and so do trends in education. Good to see how people are finding ways to implement it in the classroom as long as it is hot right now. Shawn Recommend? (6) Responses (0) Report Share negritoamericano 14 August 2012 11:57PM Response to dmandrews15, 14 August 2012 10:58PM VIDEOS Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Revolutionizing The USM Classroom: Official Video (University of Southern Mississippi) Galaxy Tabs in the Classroom Samsung Galaxy Note in the Classroom ARTICLE Samsung Galaxy Tablets in Leon County Schools SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB BUNDLE PRICE LIST Doing this research shows me that not everyone is jumping on the iPad in the classroom because there are alternatives out there, which is a good thing. At the end of the day, teachers need to compare and find out what works for them, go for it, and find ways to use technology effectively in the classroom. That is and will always be the goal when implementing technology. I am really enjoying this conversation and looking at this issue from all sides. Best, Shawn Recommend? (7) Responses (0) Report Share dmandrews15 15 August 2012 9:29AM Hi Shawn, After our conversation about if anyone was using alternative tablet devices I asked on twitter if anyone had any links and PrimaryPete name cropped up, so read his blog last night. He’s going to write a blog on how it’s gone so far using Playbooks, so should be worth a read. I read this a couple of weeks ago, which look at Google Nexus 7, which might be useful too: Thanks for sharing the links, you’re certainly doing your homework on this. Unfortunately from things I’ve read this is not always the case for many school. it’s certainly good for me to take my Apple hat off once in a while and look at alternatives though! In terms of cost, the iPad is indeed the most expensive tablet, but I believe it’s going to be a worthwhile investment for the school. We currently have a computer suite with 30 desktop computers, which back when they were installed would have cost a small fortune. I envisage the suite been phased out to be replaced by mobile technology in the school. As a cheaper option, Year 6 will have access to iPods, so it not just about iPads for our school, although of course it is another Apple product. I’m not convinced that other tablets can produce the same results or work with the same efficiency, but I’m willing to be proved wrong. A lot of children are using this type of technology at home and are excited about using it at school, I think you’ve got to strike while the iron’s hot otherwise I think you could always be waiting for the next bit of kit to come out. That’s why as a school you got to have a vision on what the latest gadgets can do to improve teaching and learning that your current gadgets can’t. I thinks Augmented Reality going to be big in schools, but we’ll have to wait and see … Be great to follow you on twitter. It’s a great place to develop your CPD. Best Wishes, Dave Recommend? (4) Responses (2) Report Share negritoamericano 15 August 2012 11:22AM Response to dmandrews15, 15 August 2012 9:29AM Hi Dave, First of all, let me thank you for really making me think about the use of tablets in schools. Your article is very well written, with the pros and cons, which is very rare in any article, and I got to thinking after reading it, what about other devices? I may have come across as harsh, but I felt that other tablets were being eclipsed and that the iPad was seen as the “end all to end all” in the classroom. I think that each device can find a niche in the classroom, depending on the budget of the school, the educational apps that can be downloaded and the creativity of the teacher. I agree 100% that students would be excited about using these devices in the classroom since they use them at home. The clip about University of Southern Mississippi really brought this discussion home to me. After seeing them giving their students a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and the ways that students can “stay connected” and “share information right away” that’s when the light bulb got screwed in a little tighter and the light began to shine even brighter. It took you and a commercial for me to see the possibilities of these devices in the classroom. At least you are studying alternatives as well, and that’s what makes you a great educator. By studying alternatives, we are expanding our horizons and are bringing even more knowlegde into the classroom. I got caught up in the price, but, as you have reminded me, it is about an investment. It is expensive now, but, in the long run, it pays for itself. I am glad to know that you are keeping a track of your experiences qith the iPad in the classroom because it is very valuable to others who will be starting the challenge in their own classes this fall. Thanks again for such a refreshing discussion and challenging, even me, with my way of thinking and helping me to see yet another perspective. I don’t have a twitter account just yet, but am thinking of opening one soon. Cheers, Shawn Recommend? (3) Responses (0) Report Share negritoamericano 16 August 2012 12:30AM I forgot to mention as a great resource for teachers as well. Here is a blog from Ben Johnson and he has included resources and how to implement the iPad in the classroom. Happy reading everyone. Cheers, Shawn Recommend? (2) Responses (0) Report Share slc2173 16 August 2012 7:39AM Response to dmandrews15, 15 August 2012 9:29AM “I’m not convinced that other tablets can produce the same results or work with the same efficiency, but I’m willing to be proved wrong.” It would be interesting to hear what features of the iPad you are specifically looking to use. I’ve used a variety of tablets, and they are quite similar in features and ease of use. I’ve heard especially good things about the Nexus 7, which I think the blog you cited does not do justice. Again, I’m not sure buying tablets for everyone is the best use of school funds, but it depends on what features you plan on using and if they are not available otherwise. Recommend? (3) Responses (2) Report Share dmandrews15 16 August 2012 10:50AM Response to slc2173, 16 August 2012 7:39AM Hi slc2173 thanks for the reply, For me, it about creating workflow using a variety of apps that the iPad has to create content, which shows the children’s learning and understanding. Here’s some specific examples of how I used the iPads with my class in the Summer Term: If other tablets can used to create content, with the same efficiency and quality then I’ve yet to see it. The project we did with Year 6 involved mentioned above use 15 iPads shared between 60 children, we didn’t have an iPad each. In our school we have invested in 32 iPads in a school of approximately 450 children. Year 6 will have access to an iPods each, but they are a much cheaper option. Recommend? (1) Responses (0) Report Share Quaestor 16 August 2012 11:05AM I know of a primary school that is requiring all parents to buy an ipad, or else their child will not be given homework, though they will have the use of an ipad in school. I’m more than dubious about this. Homework should be available to pupils with out the need to purchase one type of computer rather than another. Recommend? (4) Responses (0) Report Share negritoamericano 16 August 2012 1:05PM Response to slc2173, 16 August 2012 7:39AM slc2173, Take a look at the links that I have posted and you will see how teachers are using other devices in the classroom, not just the iPad. I do know that for a lot of people, they just prefer the iPad because they think it is the best, but, there are other options out there. Thank goodness for that, especially when it comes to school budgets. I think that we all can agree that there is excitement about using tablets in the classroom, but the gray area for me is the execution and best way of using it in the classroom. We are still fumbling through this. We do have to be honest here, for this technology is still fairly new. I am still not convinced about all of this, but I will continue reading blogs and seeing how people are implementing it in the classroom and the results that they have with their students. Not to sound sarcastic, but, let’s see if we are still talking about the iPad in the classroom in 2017 because technology changes quickly and we tend to jump on the newest thing out there. Shawn. Recommend? (3) Responses (0) Report Share kimiom 19 August 2012 9:28AM We have 45 ipads collecting dust in a cupboard at our school as so few teachers have any inspiration on how to use them with a class. I dont think it should be everything in a class but I would be happy to use it (if I knew how) as part of a scheme of work if I actually thought it would be a new way to do what I was already planning to do (i.e. write a story but maybe put it on that cartoon strip maker first and then get pupils to write it out in full with speech) Recommend? (2) Responses (1) Report Share dmandrews15 19 August 2012 2:30PM Response to kimiom, 19 August 2012 9:28AM Hi Kimiom, That’s a lot of money been wasted. Staff training is essential on any iPad initiative in a school and to expect teachers to use this technology without any prior training is shocking. At our school we were lucky enough to loan some iPads from our local authority, so that teachers could trail them in class first and then the school gave teachers iPads so they could become more confident and familiar with its functions before a heavy investment in this technology was made. If it’s any help you can read about staff training at our school here: Regards, Dave Recommend? (0) Responses (1) Report Share negritoamericano 20 August 2012 7:44PM Response to dmandrews15, 19 August 2012 2:30PM Well, Dave, I am glad to read the post about the person who has iPads sitting in the closet collecting dust because it shows the need for proper training. We all know that throwing an iPad in someone’s face and saying use it in the classroom does not amount to anything. Thanks for the link to your blog, which I am sending people to, but, here in Spain, we still have a ways to go before we see any iPad put to use in the classroom. I am following your journey. Cheers, Shawn Recommend? (3) Responses (0) Report Share duqdhguu 21 August 2012 3:21AM I don’t like the iPad. Kept overheating when I gave it to my kids to use. May just be a problem with mine. My older son also used an iPad in his middle school, but I gathered that the students just used it to play games and chat during class… Their teacher discontinued it after a month or two, good riddance. Smart boards may have been useful technology for the classroom, but I don’t believe iPads are. Recommend? (4) Responses (0) Report Share MrArthurCook 22 August 2012 8:09PM Ahhhhh “kit based transformation”…. …..One-day the whole school library will be on a single CD ROM. …..The Internet will allow pupils to watch lectures by Nobel prize winners. ….The interactive whiteboard will transform education. ….One laptop per child – when we have that the revolution will come. ….The iPad will __________________ You can fill in the gaps yourself. Recommend? (0) Responses (0) Report Share ITEKeele 23 August 2012 11:11AM You need a good wifi network to host a whole class using an iPad assuming you dont use 3G. Affordability and usability are key considerations in purchasing kit. Cost for a class of 30 iPad’s – approximately £15,000 before you factor in maintenance. Compare and contrast this with the educational leasing of Chromebook’s – assuming users are accessing web based apps. How many schools are exploring the educational benefits of this technology? Have Educational researchers evaluated the impact of iPads on learning compared to other means both traditional and technology based? Empirical based research would be very helpful and provide and evidence based approach to ‘technology enhanced learning’ both within and outside the classroom. Recommend? (3) Responses (0) Report Share Open for comments. Sign in or create your Guardian account to join the discussion. Latest teaching resources 29 Aug 2012 Maths Signs and Vocabulary Posters Full set of maths signs and vocabulary on A4 posters. Useful for display in the numeracy area to reinforce maths vocabulary. Also includes appropriate maths phrases to further build understanding. 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David Andrews embarked on an iPad journey with his school last year. Here he tells us about using the devices in his classroom

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