Will the iPad Change the Classroom?

Posted by Jerry Doll on Mon, Jul, 26, 2010 @ 09:07 AM

The following is a repost of an article from PBS's TeacherLine website.  What do you think?  Will the iPad change the way students learn and the way teachers teach?  We'd love to hear your comments below.

Imagine for just a second, how the publisher/textbook industry would change if every student in a classroom had a tablet. Textbooks would no longer be printed on paper (the environment thanks you), and the publishers could then charge a “rental” fee or subscription. The information could be immediately updated unlike the current format of a textbook that in some instances is obsolete before it is in the hands of the user. When the rental time expires, there is nothing to throw away or take up space. Imagine the learning that can occur when students and teachers are connected in a way that desktops and even laptops cannot provide in the digital (or should we call it mobile) age.

This blog excerpt was written by Rob Reynolds on the topic of 21st Century Learning;

“Tablets will change education this year and in the future because they align neatly with the goals and purposes of education in a digital age.


Specifically, these devices will succeed because:

* They are about productivity — Learning is about doing and, increasingly, about doing both in and out of the traditional classroom. In the 21st century, learning is contextual and promotes engaging students in real-life applications. This means learning on-the-go but with all of the necessary materials and digital tools necessary for their tasks. A phone isn’t quite up to the task and a laptop isn’t exactly mobile. A tablet is the perfect device.

* They are about convergence — E-readers will not take hold in education because tablets will negate their usefulness and appeal. An e-reader is a single-use machine and a fairly limited one at that. The tablet, on the other hand, will support e-textbooks — Web-based and offline — color, Web productivity, and a whole host of other media, content creation, and communication options. The tablet can serve many functions and the e-reader only one. We want convergence when it makes sense and the convergence offered by tablet devices will appeal to educational users.

* They are about mobility — Make no mistake about it — tablets are mobile devices. They will run mobile apps, have mobile contracts in some cases, and be designed for productivity on-the-move. They are perfect for augmented reality applications, distributed learning, and student success tools.

* They are about price and availability — Tablets will allow users to have the functionality they want at a price they can afford. More importantly, they will usher in a new era of learning material distribution and subscription models for textbooks. The net result will be lower education costs across the board.

* They are about community — Tablets are mobile devices that connect users to one another. Learning, particularly in the 21st century, is a community-based activity. Enough said.”

This is a very exciting time for the world of educational technology.

Let us know what you think?

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Topics: Classroom, Furniture, ipad, downview, infocomm, desks, mac