Thursday, June 7, 2012

iPad Pilot Project

Let me start by saying I am not the most "computer savvy" person in this world. I know how to text, open twitter, write a word document, and Google. Beyond that I try to avoid using computers and technology as much as possible. Having the iPads was a learning experience to say the least. I enjoyed having the iPads in class, because for even a person who isn't an Apple fanatic I found it very easy to learn how to navigate the iPad. There are also many apps that help with both note taking, and projects. The availability of these apps have allowed for more creative projects, and a better use of new technology in the classroom. I also liked being able to research content in books and terms. Having the iPads was helpful in allowing us more access to the Internet. Also it was nice to not have to go to the computer labs anymore, because I was always late for class by the time I realized that I had to be go to the library computers. Overall I really liked having the iPads in the class room, and I think they are a really good tool for schools.

Though there were many advantages to having the iPads to the classroom, there were also a few limitations. When taking notes I am a classic pen and paper kind of person. I did not like taking my notes and emailing them to myself because I would rather be able to hold the paper in my hand to review. I also did not like how the iPad did not offer the ability to print. I would have been helpful to print articles or even the notes I typed on the iPad. I also found it hard to type quickly on the iPad without a keyboard. The iPads are very fragile and breakable technology. I was afraid of breaking the iPad, knowing that they are so expensive. The possibility of breaking it was another problem I had with the iPads. Last, the iPad disconnected frequently with the school Wi-Fi after just leaving the classroom. If this if there could be ways to possibly fix some of these issues, than I think that this could be a very valuable tool for learning in schools.

I think that the Grosse Pointe School District should invest in more iPads for the rest of the schools. Though they are very expensive I think that all schools should be introduced to them at least. For elementary students in a controlled environment it could be very beneficial in introducing them to new technology. They could also begin the exploration of note taking, and research. The iPads could be a costly addition to the schools, but if students could access their books from the iPads, books would not be lost and damaged as easily. The school could also save money on paper, with electronic worksheets. The iPad would also allow the internet to be more available in classrooms. Teachers can create more interactive websites, and blogs that keep the entire class more connected as well. The availability of the iPads in class could also allow for more research projects in class rooms which I personally believe are more beneficial to learning that just taking notes off of power points. The iPads are great technology, and being able to access those in more than one class room would be very beneficial to schools, teachers, and students.

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