Last Wednesday we had the opportunity to transform a traditional paper handout into an interactive 21st century activity that was accessible to ALL students by utilizing the iPod's fantastic Apps, settings, strategies and available mounting systems.
I was amazed to see how a traditional paper handout could be transformed by the iPad into something that was so engaging, interactive and accessible. This transformation would not only benefit learners with disabilities but all students in the classroom. From kindergarten through college, iPads offer educators more diverse methods for delivering instruction and engaging students for learning in the 21st century. Here are some benefits of using iPads in schools:
1. IPads 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 – they 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 iPads.
3. Collaborative content creation – Never before has it been easier to create and share content with others.
4. 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.
5. Go on virtual field trips - Most students and schools cannot afford to take a field trip to another country. However, Monica Mitchell, a fifth-grade teacher at Albert Harris Elementary in Martinsville, Virginia, took her class on virtual field trips to the Royal Navy Museum in Portsmouth, England and Yellowstone National Park using the Skype app for the iPad. Mitchell projected the tour of the Royal Navy Museum onto the SmartBoard in her classroom where students were able to interact with the museum guide and ask questions.