Sunday, May 26, 2013

Effective Use of iPads in the Classroom

There are many reasons to use iPads in the classroom - besides the fact that they are super cool.  Studies have shown that using iPads can increase student engagement and test scores.  These studies also show that there are both three approaches to integration - teacher to student, student to student and student groupwork - and three types of apps - interactive, reference and productivity/creativity.
  • Interactive apps require user engagement, but do not create new materials. Examples: Angry Birds, Hotel Tycoon, GraphingCalcHD, MayanMath
  • Reference apps provide a wealth of information - just like the reference section of a library. Examples: Bible, NutritionFacts
  • Productivity/Creativity apps allow users to create or produce something. Examples: Keynote, Pages, Numbers, drawing and painting apps, music creation, movie editing

What does not work as effective practice is interactive apps being used in a teacher to student learning environment.  A device to student learning environment is perhaps best suited to situations where drill and skill approaches are needed to promote mastery of subject matter - eg. review and homework assignments.  (Think of it as the difference from practicing a musical instrument and creating original music.)

Below are some resources for getting started.

My Curated App Collections

•  This is the access page to my six app collections.  They include:
  • Math Apps for Parents
  • Essential Apps for Parents
  • Literacy Apps for Parents
  • Measurement Apps to Use in Math & Science
  • Apps to Promote Creativity
  • Apps to Promote Mathematical Thinking
Apple's Challenge-Based Learning Site
•  This site provides an explanation of the process in developing challenge-based learning experiences, an explanation of what a 21st century learning environment is and provides insight into what best practice in terms of integration is.  Scholarly but well worth a read.

iPad Effective Use in the Classroom
•  Research into the effective use of integration in the classroom.

Apple in Education Resources
•  A collection of video tutorials, classroom guides, and web pages for educators.

•  This is a directory of apps for education that have been recommended and tested by Apple Distinguished Educators

Apple in Education Apps
•  Educational apps organized by subject area

iPads in Education
•  A list of educational apps sorted by subject area

•  Activities for use with the iPad.