High school students received iPad in winter. It is expected that these devices are stored in the school. “All of the devices were insured. Six iPad were damaged during the first two weeks from the beginning of the program, “- said Stephen Braunius, Director of Learning Technology. None has been lost or stolen. Only two weeks have passed since the beginning of the school year, and program administrators have called iPad to be the device, which is changing all the rules.
“They now think about the technology. They live, breathe and eat with it,” – said John Holverd, assistant head of school Zeeland West High School. “We are entering into world of technology, instead of its entering into ours.”
Carl Howe, the director of research of the world-famous Boston Yankee Group, who is engaged in the research of different markets, says: “Today we are observing the evolution of education in the era of post-computers. The experience of using iPad is something attractive like a magnet. For any person, who is not feeling confident about the information technology, iPad breaks this barrier. IPad is particularly attractive to students because it is simple in use and flexible in relation to the individual needs of students of all ages and fitness levels. ”
During the first two weeks after the launch of the program teachers are just beginning to explore some of the thousands of ways to use the iPad for training purposes. Some of them write whole lecture on video, and make these records available to the students at a time, when the teacher is not in the class, or if the teacher is sick. And if a student misses school, he or she can use the iPad to browse the record of what was happening in the class and load onto the computer all the class homework out of the house. Built-in tools allow iPad operating within the wireless network to organize a video call the teacher or friends to discuss certain issues.
School administrators see in the iPad pilot program as an opportunity for the education of children, who come after school to a world full of technological dependence.
A growing number of schools in the U.S. and in other countries around the world are beginning to explore the possibilities of the iPad for the study of world literature with the help of multimedia programs. They study history with the help of interactive maps and programs such as “The History of Ancient Rome”. They open the different world of algebra with the help of step animation of complex and challenging task-games. For most of them the use of iPad in education is a new field, a kind of experiment. However, reviews of teachers and school managers, as well as students themselves and their parents clearly indicate significant benefits of using the iPad as compared to other known technology solutions.
The idea of the introduction of new technologies in the educational process can only be realized after its settlement in the minds of the leaders of schools and universities, leading educators and teachers.
The first and most important is the implementation of projects for iPad 1:1 (each student has a separate iPad). It opens the door to high-quality individual learning, based on the use of the capabilities of modern technology. Students are able to adapt the training program, its pace and intensity that is suitable to the student’s individual needs and interests.
Second is mobility and portability. Students like its small size and weight, so they do not need to carry the textbooks in the backpacks.
Third is the interest to learn. IPad has unique features that distinguish it from ordinary personal computers. Interactive way to control the interface (using the motion of the fingers) improves motor function, which has a positive effect on memorization and learning. Built-in technical elements (gyro, compass, GPS) allow you to create a new class of educational applications that did not previously exist in the educational environment. For example, it helps study astronomy in relation to the place where you are, by bringing on the iPad part of the sky. The remarkable application «The Elements» transforms the boring studying of the periodic table into a fascinating journey, where you can see the world of chemistry in 3D-animations, movies, and the latest scientific data.
Fourth is the continuity of learning. IPad helps to acquire new knowledge and training that is submissive to all ages. My friend last year happily told me that for 3 days he was able to teach parents to work with e-mail and the Internet. These parents were pensioners and had unsuccessfully attempted in using the laptop. IPad in the family can be used not only by children but also by adults. They would be happy to use it for entertainment, reading favorite books and new interactive magazines, watch videos, working with mail and a number of interesting applications. There are a lot of areas of ??knowledge or profession, where it would be possible to use the iPad.
Fifth is expanding of outlook. Quite unexpectedly for many people, iPad opens the door to a new world. Interactive programs are invaluable to education. A new class of educational applications is replacing traditional textbooks. It can combine games and comics, responsive to student intervention, and help him (her) in the way of learning a subject, both in traditional and new disciplines. Moreover, within a single application a number of subjects can be trained at the same time in digital form enthralling children, and it is just the beginning!
Sixth is communication outside the classroom, school, and family. In fact, with the iPad, you can access the knowledge from any point on Earth. You can be in contact with friends, colleges, teachers and parents. You can start a videoconference by one touch of a finger. You can record a video, audio or type an interesting story, then to look again and show your friends.
Seventh, it helps you to use it in the classroom and at home. Large screen (about 9.7 inches diagonal), low-profile design that gives students the opportunity to maintain eye contact with the teacher, a powerful battery that allows you to use the iPad without shutting down for more than 10 hours – all of the above make this device really comfortable.
Eighth, it helps to provide equal access to education for children with disabilities and children with special needs. A number of features developed by Apple and is the standard for all the company’s products are easier to work with in application of computers for people with limited visual, hearing, or motor skills. This allows you to devote a separate great stuff that goes beyond the scope of this article.
To summarize all above said, iPad allows enhancing learning and implementation of individual creativity. The leaders of schools, that began the implementation of the iPad, argue that it is not just a fashionable device, but, in fact, it is a powerful and universal tool for learning, supplemented by many applications. It also includes thousands of special applications, designed for educational purposes. And even if today there is no program that solves a particular problem, then there is assurance that it will appear in the future. There is no doubt that the successful career today is possible not only by the professional knowledge and skills, but also to a large extent by understanding and creative use of computer technology.