Educators Evaluate Learning Benefits of iPads
Written by Vanessa Wilson
Under the mindset of the visionary leader Nicole Hughes, Pine Forge Academy students among many school districts received their iPad’s January 11-15, 2016, to enhance the curriculum and the student learning environment. In the United States alone over 2,300 school districts are using iPad’s in the classroom, and growing.
While some educational professionals still show ambivalent emotions about the use of technology in the classroom, the truth is that technology is becoming more important by the day in American Society. It is important to adapt to the dynamic ways in which education is being transmitted and transformed. Consequently, the iPad is not just a cool new toy but rather a powerful and versatile tool with a multitude of applications, including thousands with educational uses.
As a tuition-dependent school, finances determine the altitude of our progressive, sustaining operations. While many thought the launch of this project was too costly, there were those who were optimistic about what the intended end results could be. The most compelling reasons this project would work was because the devices had the capacity to change how our students learn, and it would also change how our teachers teach.
This pilot project we have set out to embark upon represents a shift in the education paradigm, one that we can be proud of. Continual improvements in learning and test scores rely on qualitative assessment of learning rather than quantitative results.
As with any new project, challenges will present themselves but our IT team has investigated the configuration issues involved and are looking towards improving connectivity as well as acquiring additional bandwidth to withstand the equipment volume.
The many benefits of using iPads in the classroom include:
- Saving money by combining books, writing implements, calculators, word processors, etc. all in one media tablet.
- Allowing students to take control of their own learning.
- Increasing student engagement through an interactive touch-screen interface.
- Providing a tailor-made educational experience.
- Accessing information quickly through internet connectivity, and the ability to conveniently switch between applications makes it easier for students to switch between different modes of learning (i.e., research).
- Improving student achievement on standardized tests.
To-date, the use of tablets have been intuitive and has made learning fun and easy. E-textbooks on tablets cost on average 50-60% less than print textbooks. Consequently, Religion, Science and Mathematics have been adopted for the remainder of the 2015-16 school year; we anticipate expanding to History and English for the 2016-17 school year. Studies have shown that tablets help students better prepare for a world immersed in technology
With the data-driven instructional approach and increased academic rigor, Pine Forge Academy students stand ‘Ready for Tomorrow’ – students are technologically literate, intellectually developed, and adequately prepared for college and careers stemming from purposeful one-to-one instruction, learning and curriculum alignment practices.
Excellence is no Accident!