Saturday, March 5, 2011

ipads in the classroom

Technologically speaking, I'm an early adopter. Techno-gadgets are appealing to me. They offer fun and function in a stylish container. As a gadget-loving School Librarian I grapple with the dichotomy of a shrinking budget and arming students with state-of-the-art learning tools. At $500 a piece-the ipad2 is a possible answer.

Skills, information acquisition and habits of mind are best acquired by creating a product on a particular thesis or topic of study. Whether it’s a paper, a video, or a presentation, kids learn by creating a project for an audience. Many students are overwhelmed with the management and expression of the various forms of information they locate (i.e. video, audio, images).

The Camera
The ipad 2 offers a central location where students can store various media and information. Equipped with HD capabilities the camera can capture high-quality still and moving images. When students are out on location gathering information for their project the camera enables them to capture information in various forms of media to a centralized location for easy storage and access when designing their project.

Imagine the possibilities here. Students can interact one-on-one with a subject matter expert related to their topic of study. How about videoconferencing with a group of scientists live as they research the ecosystem in Antarctica. Video-chat with other classrooms in another part of the country or world who have just read the exact same book as your class has and discuss the main points. This is the powerful component of FaceTime to me. Allowing students to connect to anyone in the world. Students are no longer confined to their local area for information. FaceTime allows students to use technology to actively access the world.

As the conversation continues with respect to ipads/tablets in the classroom I will update this posting with the key points.

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