Sep 27, 2011 by Corey Fitzgerald

iPads in schools

Got an iPad yet?  School leaders say it’s not just a cool toy, but rather a powerful, versatile tool that is virtually changing the face of education.  With more than 15,000 “educational apps” available through Apple’s app store, teachers and students alike are having no trouble finding content and material for all areas of learning. 

From kindergarten through college, iPads offer educators more diverse methods for delivering instruction and engaging students for learning in the 21 stcentury.  Here are 10 big benefits of using iPads in schools:

  1. Tablets fit students’ lifestyles – The appeal of using iPads in school is obvious and students find them easier to use than traditional computers.  This novelty leads to learning and when schools don’t implement what has now become “everyday technology”, we’re doing students a disservice. Besides, who wants to carry a backpack full of books?
  2. Classrooms are ready for the iPad – Tablets are fully compatible with online teaching and learning platforms which can be easily integrated into the everyday classroom.  Some of the most innovative instructional software is being developed specifically for tablets, and teachers and students alike are more comfortable using them.
  3. Students can run the helpdesk – Not only are kids eager to embrace new technology but many can troubleshoot and resolve computer issues faster than adults.  With many districts experiencing cutbacks in IT staffing, it’s a natural fit for students to handle many of the basic questions to assist in routine triage and problem solving.  And, there’s an app for that.  Check out the SchoolObject:helpdesk by Eduphoria in the App store!
  4. Collaborative content creation – Never before has it been easier to create and share content with others.  The touch interface of iPad revolutionizes the way we interact with computers, making it easier to leverage database and social networking technology, like wikis, to promote collaboration and communication for enhanced learning.
  5. Mobile data collection – From the science classroom to the gymnasium, students are now recording observations in the lab and on the court.  Today’s teachers can more easily integrate instruction in cross-curricular lessons, for example, when students studying physiology measure their heart and breathing rates during exercise and apply it to their cellular respiration lab.
  6. Tablets integrate with IT trends – With tablets and cloud-based computing systems, students can work from anywhere on campus with greater portability and connectivity.  Schools also don’t have to pay for computing power that they no longer need.
  7. iPads make mobile computing labs easier (and lighter) – Many schools utilize carts of laptops to bring technology into the classroom.  When you compare the cost, size and mobility factor, tablets win.
  8. Paperless innovation - School districts have found creative ways to use iPads to save money.  From homework and tests to digital textbooks, the iPad offers numerous ways to eliminate paper, saving dollars and the environment.
  9. No more missing the bus - Even if a child doesn’t ride a bus to school, chances are they’ll take one for a field trip.  When bus drivers are equipped with an iPad they can easily monitor when children enter and leave the bus, noting time and location, and ensuring everyone is safely accounted for.
  10. Virtual tour guide – iPads offer students an exciting way to experience field trip destinations.  From the aquarium to the zoo, children receive enrichment through interactive maps and exhibit-specific content.  And don’t forget to order your souvenirs--they’ll be ready for pickup on your way out.

Related Reading: 

Teaching Creativity in the Classroom

Building Unstructured Play into the Structure of Each Day