One of the newest approaches to using technology in the classroom is called the 1-to-1 initiative. Many districts across the country have begun to equip their students and faculty with iPads: One iPad for every person.
This at first appears very exciting and is a novel way for using technology in the classroom. After all, some of the most advanced technology for reading, learning, and communicating is literally at our fingertips. However, simply providing everyone with an iPad and saying, “Learn!” will not automatically make the world a better place.
There are many advantages to providing iPads to everyone in school. But using technology in the classroom doesn’t automatically make rainbows appear. Any district considering implementing an iPad 1-to-1 program, or any teacher who will be part of such a program, needs to consider both the pluses and the minuses that come along with the change.
The Advantages of iPads in the Classroom
- Immediate feedback and all-class participation. iPads allow for smoother communication and transmission of materials between teachers and students. Instead of trading stacks of papers with one another – and taking the necessary time and resources for this process – we can exchange files. This can drastically reduce the amount of time spent grading paper materials. Also, there are numerous apps that allow for electronic quizzes, submissions, and supervision. This means that academic processes can be more quickly assessed or analyzed. Apps can score multiple-choice quizzes immediately and post results; teachers can see which students have submitted assignments right away; or teachers can even receive analytics about when and how long students are working.
- Simplify the collection and retention of materials. Students are notorious for claiming “I lost it” or “I was absent when you gave that out.” When they have iPads, however, they can’t use this excuse: All materials are available electronically at all times. This is also true when it comes to their own work. Students can often create their work on their iPad, then use the iPad to store it or submit it to their teacher. Papers are easily lost or destroyed. Electronic files last forever, and both the students and the teachers can permanently retain all work and materials. This is especially helpful during any type of research process. Now students can collect and organize all their research electronically.
- Reading and annotating paperlessly. Many books and files are available electronically. And with the marking features available in certain apps, they are able to be annotated nearly as effectively as hard copies. What’s even better is that many hard copies can be transferred into an electronic format. Students can now even use apps to take pictures of texts and immediately begin annotating them electronically. This helps to keep all of their documents in one place and to permanently keep their annotations.
- Shared access to files with students. The transfer of information between students and teachers has never been easier. Students can create documents and immediately upload them to a teacher’s electronic folder. Teachers can then view the documents immediately, and keep them permanently stored. It works in reverse, too: Teachers can upload assignments, links, or feedback for students via these shared resources or folders.
- Free classic books available online. Nothing beats free! Traditionally, students have either needed to purchase copies of their English literature from the store or have borrowed a heavily used school copy. Now any books that are public domain are available for free for download.
- Numerous resources for anything you can imagine. “There’s an app for that” is true for just about anything you might desire in your classroom. No matter what kind of task you want to do, or what kind of problem you encounter, it is likely that there is an educational app designed to help address that specific need. And if there isn’t one, you can make one!
The Disadvantages of iPads in the Classroom:
- No ideal workflow solution. As of yet, there is no ideal workflow solution that easily incorporates all aspects of teaching; particularly, there is no one resource that allows for students to create and submit work, and for teachers to easily receive, organize, grade, and return that work. Normally, performing a multitude of tasks requires the use of several different apps. In many cases, this might create more work than just receiving paper copies of work and grading it in the traditional way.
- Wi-Fi issues. iPad use in the classroom is often heavily dependent on the quality of Wi-Fi at your school. Between iPads, phones, computers, and laptops, there are often many more devices fighting for Wi-Fi space than people in the building! A slow or disconnected Wi-Fi server can ruin an entire lesson.
- The distraction factor. Electronics are great for learning, but they’re also great for distracting students. When they’re supposed to be working, it is very easy for them to quickly access a game, message, or app that they shouldn’t be using!
- Charging issues. “Books don’t need to be charged,” a hard copy patriot might declare. And they’re right. Amidst all the iPad advantages, one disadvantage is that they need power. So if a student doesn’t have a charged iPad, then they lose access to all their learning materials for the day.
- You still need a computer. While there are hundreds of new uses an iPad opens up for students, the fact remains that we still just need a computer to take care of many tasks. Sometimes it’s easier to create documents with a keyboard and mouse than it is trying to do the same thing with a second-rate app tool.
- Publishers haven’t caught up to book demands. There are many, many books available for download; however, there are relatively few textbooks. So when a teacher wants their student to access information from a textbook type of resource, they may just be best by looking at an actual textbook and not a digital surrogate.
- iPad options are overwhelming. The fact is that there are just so many options for apps to use and educational approaches you could take. It is extremely difficult to navigate the digital world, and doubly so if you’re new to the unique features mobile devices offer. While there are many advantages, the simple fact that the options feel overwhelming may turn off many otherwise willing teachers.
- Change isn’t necessarily always good. Change for the sake of change doesn’t make much sense. If you’re going to begin incorporating iPads into your pedagogy, don’t rush to hand out the technology without a plan. If you’ve been an effective teacher without iPads, you don’t have to fix what isn’t broken. Consider how iPads can enhance or ease student learning first!
No one would argue that the iPads offer zero advantages, but no one should argue that they’re perfect, either. Before diving head first into the 1-to-1 pool, take time to consider what your students’ needs are and how you can address those both with and without technology.
Leave a comment below and share what ways you’ve used iPads in the classroom, or what ways you’d like to use them if you haven’t had a chance to already!
Much more music
Because they should be adle to listen to music because some people may say that music can calm the mind just as an example if you are stressed just put on your headphones and start listening to music without disturbing anyone and the music should be school appropriate like Katy perry
Music helps concentrate and blocks out distractions.
No one should exclude music, if you don't like music in class, then just don't listen to the music, if it is in a speaker (which happens rarely) then you should just zone it out or deal with it, the only time music is bad is when someone takes it too far and starts dancing around the class room, and that NEVER happens. Music is just another form of art, ok? If you don't like listening to it in class, then just go and stop taking that class.
Dead silence is distracting
For some students[like me]. A quiet background can be distraction. I have ADD and with a silent background. My mind tends to wander and I dont finish the work, but with music, it actually helps me to pay attention to the work. Music puts me in a good mood and I believe people work better when they are in a good mood
I like music
I feel that music should be allowed for the students. Lets think back here for you adults and teachers and even other kids and teens who said no. How many times have you listened to music while you were driving or working or doing homework? Well if you think back when you were, you were more focused when you were listening to music. Yes it can be a distraction but only if you allow it to. When in classes when the teacher is talking, students shouldn't listen to their music, no, but when the teacher is done and homework is handed out you should be allowed to for the fact that it calms the body and focuses the mind. The music also reduces stress and that will help a student or even a parent while working and as for test students should listen to music for the fact that they don't become distracted by the clock and how much time is left they are focused on their work. Music gets the body moving it can energize us if we can get really into it.
Music is good for you.
I think we should listen to music in school, just not during class. Just before school, after school, recess and lunch. There will be no life without music. Music helps people dream to be what they want to be. Like a singer, songwriter, and beat-boxer. Some songs are bad, with swearing words, which we're not going to learn, but that's all I have to say.
Music Is The Word
When kids are in class they are usually distracted by someone asking a question or someone knocking on the door. Music is their background noise. It's best if they listen to their own music because they can relate to it. It helps them relax and boosts their focus and their productivity.
Yes music in class
I think we should be allowed to listen to music in class because it lets us concentrate in class and we won't get distracted while we do our work. We will also be able to pass our tests easily and not struggle to finish in time for lunch or something!
Music helps concentrate in class.
I think music will help students concentrate in class and it helps me learn better and do my homework better, so why not listen to music? It will help a lot. I think they should make a rule to let students listen to music in class and Andrew is stupid.
Think a little on this.
I feel that music should be allowed for the students. Lets think back here for you adults and teachers and even other kids and teens who said no. How many times have you listened to music while you were driving or working or doing homework? Well if you think back when you were, you were more focused when you were listening to music. Yes it can be a distraction but only if you allow it to. When in classes when the teacher is talking, students shouldn't listen to their music, no, but when the teacher is done and homework is handed out you should be allowed to for the fact that it calms the body and focuses the mind. The music also reduces stress and that will help a student or even a parent while working and as for test students should listen to music for the fact that they don't become distracted by the clock and how much time is left they are focused on their work. Music gets the body moving it can energize us if we can get really into it . I find that it;s harder to study when there is no noise or the shuffling of papers from students who are studying as well and if you say students will be anti social then why tell then no talking in class? It also pulls kids out of their group of friends and helps with socializing and if this isn't true why hold school dances? Teachers fear we decide that we will plug our headphones in and ignore then well you wonder why, it's probably because your way of teaching is confusing or boring. You've got to make it interesting to the student. Who wants to listen to a boring lecture? If you make it interesting then yeah we will listen. Another thing is if we get distracted by music. Well what do you think other things in the class are? Anything can become a distraction if you think about it.
Music is helpful during school.
Music during school helps block out other noises and keeps you from talking your friends! You would also stay on track. You probably wouldn't be in trouble either, cause you would be on task! Well, what do you think? Would you listen to music in class or not? I think you should! Thank you.