originally uploaded by m.p.3.
According to this StarTribune article, all 680 students at a West St. Paul middle school received iPads to allow “for everything from online research to games that build reading and math skills.” While the kids, administration and staff are happy about the grant funded iPads landing in the hands of these students, some wonder if it’s worth it.
One StarTribune commenter notes:
There had better be some metrics that show whether “gadgets” improve learning and test scores. My bet is this is a big bust. I want to know how many are broken, lost and stolen after the first 90 days. Then School year. The PC didn’t improve test scores or academics; the iPad won’t either. Now, if they could load all of their text books onto the iPad, and the teacher could query the iPad to see if the student actually opened the books or completed assignments, then maybe this would be worthwhile…
posted by CabelaKip on Apr. 27, 11 at 4:12 PM
However, according to this CNN article from September 1998, the use of computers improved test scores for those students who had access to them and are being taught by teachers who, “have the technological skills to use computers and the proper programs to enhance a students education.”
So while CabelaKip makes an excellent point regarding teachers being able to track reading and assignments from a central point, the rest of the statement may not be entirely true. However, the important point to note is that the teachers need tech know-how and they need the proper tools on the devices as well. What this article doesn’t provide are any details regarding the backgrounds of the teachers and/or the programs being utilized by the school for the iPads.
Do you think that the devices will be properly utilized in the classrooms or will they be abused (physically or otherwise)? Do you think that use of the iPads in the classroom will actually improve learning or will it be like computers were (and likely still are)–mainly a gimmicky distraction? How about your tax dollars? Do you think that 680 iPads for middle school students was a good use of grant funding? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.