The debate rages on and the same question is asked: “Should we use iPads in Schools?” With so many varying opinions, we take a look at the issue in detail, asking are they just a passing craze or can they really help children to learn in a new and exciting way?
Check out the advantages
Whether you are a parent or a teacher, you need to at least consider the question as not doing so could mean that your children are failing to benefit in ways that they should. Many teachers that already use iPads take the view that they are a great asset to the classroom, enabling them to support and add to lessons rather than detract. Let’s look at some of the reasons why many rate them so highly:
The iPad bursts into life in seconds and has a powerful battery, enabling students to get online quickly and be mobile, even using them out of the classroom. In order to make the most of this, schools need to ensure that they have a good wireless infrastructure in place and routers than can cope with many iPads being in use at the same time. It goes without saying that internet speed has to be fast if the children are to be able to work efficiently.
Compared to laptops and netbooks, the iPads come in at a good price and provide users with all that they will ever need to build on their creativity whilst working.
Proactive planning is essential
Schools that make the decision to purchase iPads need to plan ahead and decide how they will be used in class before they buy. Here are a few ideas to guide you in the right direction:
By using games and videos as well as some of the many apps that are out there, literacy can be improved in a fun way. Students will not feel pressured or bored and by getting immersed in the wonders of the virtual world, they will learn whilst they play. With many of the apps being free of charge, students can explore and let their imagination run wild, using words to describe what they see and hear.
Teachers can use an iPad to stream information to the whiteboard. Students can also use iPads to take photos of various projects and then use then for discussions/write-ups later. Don’t forget the many time-lapse apps that are available as these can be used to show results of experiments over a period of time.
Drawing apps can be used to create pictures and words. It is even possible to browse for images and then import them into the drawing or painting app for children to copy. Give them free reign and see what they can come up with; not messy like real paint and the best artwork can be saved and printed out. They can also use a range of mediums such as pencil, chalk, charcoal, oils and water colours.
Schools also need to consider safety and security so think about where the iPads will be stored and whether you will have them left charging overnight or plugged in on a regular basis.
iPads can make a wonderfully positive impact upon schools but they do need to be used correctly and in line with a program of work, planning their use into lessons. Failure to do this can mean that the school has paid out for expensive equipment that will not be used efficiently or creatively, with neither the teachers of students benefiting as they should. HardSoft can help you to lease iPads for your school and advise the best way to use them in order to get the most from them. Take a look at our schools page for more information or give our team a call on 020 7111 1643 to talk through the options available.