iPad in the classroom is priceless - Part 1

iPad in the classroom is priceless - Part 1
Posted in: Select Education
By Nick Acton
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iPad in the classroom is priceless - Part 1

The value that iPad can bring to a classroom cannot be understated. You might think that is a bold claim. Can any single piece of technology be priceless? I’d say that most devices cannot, but the iPad certainly can.
How can I say this with confidence? Because I taught for many years; delivered lessons on a range of subjects across all the year groups, and iPad was an essential teaching tool throughout. When I was lucky enough to teach in schools with class sets or 1:1 iPad for the learners, the opportunities grew tenfold.
Flexibility is the key to its value, in my opinion. There is no subject that an iPad cannot positively impact. There is no pedagogical practice that an iPad cannot positively impact. Most importantly, however, there is no learning opportunity that an iPad cannot positively impact. Let me give you just a handful of examples to think about.

Assessment for learning

Quizzing apps and online forms distributed via iPad can help teachers track progress. You might argue that any device, that connects to the internet can do this. Crucially, however, Apple devices have access to Microsoft, Google, and Apple apps, so you have a wider pool of assessment tools at your disposal. On top of this, I think the iPad is particularly good at enabling learners to capture their progress.


They can film practical subjects or use the microphone to record oral advancements. Screen-capturing on the iPad can even capture processes as they form. For classroom-based assessments, there really isn’t another piece of technology that can rival it. Finally, teachers can benefit from all the same features when they capture progress (particularly in infant classes).

Adaptive teaching

As aforementioned, the iPad’s flexibility isn’t just fortuitous for learners. Teachers can be adaptive and reactive when they have a tool in their hands that can meet a variety of needs. For example, Apple Classroom is an app that enables teachers to actively manage a class set of iPads. You can easily divide the learner iPads into groups and, in doing so, send out differentiated resources or entirely different pieces of work to a cross-section of the class. If needed, the teacher can lock the entire class set of iPads to drastically change the direction of the lesson through Apple Classroom.


On a separate note, interactive whiteboard apps allow teachers to model concepts away from the screen at the front of the classroom. Likewise, using the iPad camera and screen mirroring enables photos of work to be thrown up on the board for whole-class analysis. The opportunities for adaptive teaching are endless, and providing a flexible educational experience is key as I move on to my next point….  

Personalised learning opportunities

Getting stuck in and beginning to build something is ultimately a practical exercise. However, the iPad can be an active part of this. For example, many apps can scan a pile of Lego and produce instructions for different builds (like the Brickit App). Or an app can help inspire a design. AR Real Driving is an app that can plonk a to-scale car in the classroom via augmented reality. The learners can then drive the car around the room. On top of that, they can reverse the car into a position that makes it easy for them to look at the engine. As the class begins to think about creating their own cars, they could use this app to help them visualise their design. 


Using Brickit to build an adapt a car design is a brilliant way of getting hands-on. And of course, any physical builds can be captured via the iPad’s camera at various stages as it progresses, and these elements can be a part of another page in the classes’ digital workbook. Let’s not forget that the iPad also gives individual learners the opportunity to expand on any of the activities I am suggesting. Some may like to investigate manufacturing lines on YouTube Kids or do more research into the engineering process.


Stay tuned for the second part of this series.

5 months ago
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