iPads in the Classroom

educational-apps

With new technology integrating into classrooms, it’s beneficial to see how using new media compares to traditional teaching methods. This week, we are looking at the pros and cons of utilizing iPads in the classroom.

Pros:

  • Students have the ability to save documents or notes on Google or other cloud servers, eliminating lost work
  • Teachers or students can record lessons and share them with other students when they miss class – look at ShowMe, an application that makes creating, uploading, sharing, and watching whiteboard lessons as easy as one, two, three!
  • There are tons of apps out there (literally thousands!) that help students to learn – check out Apple’s website for an extensive sampling of the apps currently available. A few we liked the most? iWriteWords, an application that helps preschoolers learn to write, SimpleMind, an easy-to-use note taking application, EasyBib, an application that helps you to cite your sources, and EverNote, an organizational application that helps busy college students to stay organized.
  • Apps like LessonNote also exist to monitor to students’ work in real time to see what they are working on

    Credit: 9to5mac.com

    Credit: 9to5mac.com

  • Applications are providing innovation and creativity in work – it lets teachers and students customize learning to specific situations and courses. Connecting over the internet, teachers are sharing their favorite apps for classroom learning – check out Educator Studio for some of the most trendy educator apps!

Cons:

  • There are too many distractions for students constantly using devices like iPads – social media or games may get in the way of learning. An article on BetaNews outlines some of these concerns about incorporating “shiny new toys” into classrooms of easily distracted children.
  • Less time with actual peers is becoming a problem, and iPads don’t allow students to engage in social learning
  • The cost of iPads are dropping, but are still pricy for an easily breakable item. However, weighed with the potential savings on digital textbooks, many schools are able to justify funding iPads.
  • Many parents don’t know how to use this technology and are unable to help their kids at home
  • Schools need servers capable to hold mutltiple users

With these pros and cons in mind, it’s interesting to see what NDSU is doing to integrate iPads into higher education learning.

NDSU iPadsThe NDSU iPads in Research and Education group has been working over the past two years to utilize new technology in the classrooms to enhance learning for NDSU students. This group also using this technology in research labs, which is of particular importance considering NDSU’s ranking as a top 100 research university by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

To maintain such a high level of prestige, researchers at NDSU must continually adapt and utilize the latest technologies to avoid stagnation. iPads are just one example of how universities are doing this.

According to Dr. Gregory Cook, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at NDSU, said that “[iPads are] just so much more mobile and versatile” than alternative educational supplements. A strong advocate for maximizing the use of technology in the classroom, Dr. Cook says the easiest way to do this is for professors to share experiences and get ideas from one another.

This is exactly what our blog is about – sharing ideas about how to best utilize the technology available to us to really get the most of our educations.

If you can think of more pros or cons to incorporating these or similar technologies, or more ways to integrate iPad technology in the classroom, make sure to let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

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