When I first heard about schools integrating iPads in their classrooms, I was not sure if it would actually work. I thought that students would be very excited and distracted with such a tool in their hands. It is hard to keep their attention when they have a pencil case in front of them, and now you want them to stay quiet when they have a multitude of games and apps in from of them? I was sceptical! However, after listening to Mark Miller in class and making some research, I found good tips to manage the classroom using iPads, and good apps to teach them effectively.
As mentioned in class by Mr. Miller, teachers should not expect iPads to teach for them, but should use them as a tool for their teaching. For example, you might not have a tool that will teach students grammar, but you can teach them grammar, and then ask them to put it in practice by writing a text or creating a movie using a particular sentence pattern. There are tons of possibilities with the iPad for English teachers. Students can read texts, articles or books, create movies, commercials, and plays; they can also take notes and share them, create stories, and I could keep going.
With the use of iPads, you can bring every lesson to life.As mentioned on apple’s website, the iPad is something students use in their daily life for a multitude of tasks. Therefore, when they use their iPad in class, they feel like it is real and useful for them. Moreover, all the different applications can reach different kinds of intelligences and different levels of learning.They have access to images, texts, videos, articles, games, and more. For these reasons, iPads are technically very useful in a classroom. However, the issues can be linked to the way teachers use iPads and the way students respond to using iPads.
Teachers using iPads in a classroom should make sure that users know the instructional expectations and the rules before even showing them the iPads. Also, the setting of the classroom should be changed in order to give the teacher access to every iPad screen at all time. It is also important to set limits regarding the resources they can or cannot use during class and make sure they respect them. If you are a teacher using iPads in your classroom, you may want to have a look at this website. (http://ipadintheeslclassroom.weebly.com/common-ipad-classroom-management-tips.html) You will find a lot important tips to use in order to have a certain control in your classroom.
Obviously, if all the rules are respected and teachers use iPads efficiently, they should be very useful in a classroom and students should benefit a lot. However, it does not always go this way. In Los Angles, a school decided to buy iPads for 30 000 students in 47 schools, and before they knew it, students had found a way to unblock Facebook and were spending all their time on it. According to the students, not using Facebook makes the iPad being the same thing as an old book. (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-24/the-ipad-goes-to-school-the-rise-of-educational-tablets) The schools then had to send the iPads back. For this reason, schools should talk about it to the students and the parents to know if it is worth the money and if students are ready to make efforts regarding using iPads as an academic device.
I believe that iPads can be very useful in the classroom, but two things have to be respected. Teachers must use it as a tool to put the material they taught in class into practice, and students must respect the rules and focus on academic projects, even thought they have access to internet at all time. It is important to talk to the students, the parents and the teachers before taking any decisions regarding iPads. Buying them involves that everybody will change their attitudes toward education. It might be the futur of education, but it takes time and adaptation for everything. For my part, I believe organisation is the key.