With the beginning of the new year, a growing number of schools are turning to iPads as a powerful and versatile educational tool of choice for students from Kindergarten through high school and for subjects from math to history.
A recent article from the New York Times explains that, “educators laud the iPad’s physical attributes, including its large touch screen (about 9.7 inches) and flat design, which allows students to maintain eye contact with their teachers. And students like its light weight, which offers a relief from the heavy books that weigh down their backpacks.”
The Times article cites examples of teachers using the iPad as replacements for textbooks, apps for illustrating step-by-step animation of complex problems in math, and apps that include all of Shakespeare’s plays for Literature classes.
Many of the school districts are paying for their iPads through federal and other grants, including money from the federal Race to the Top competitive grant program, which administrators in Durham, N.C., are using to provide an iPad to every teacher and student at two low-performing schools.
“It’s not about a cool application,” said Dr. Brenner, a Roslyn Heights, NY superintendent. “We are talking about changing the way we do business in the classroom.” He said the iPads would also save money in the long run by reducing printing and textbook costs; the estimated savings in the two iPad classes at his school are $7,200 a year.
“It’s not about a cool application,” Dr. Brenner said. “We are talking about changing the way we do business in the classroom.”