This interesting article, Kindergarten iPad 2 program causes rift between parents and school officials in Maine, caught my eye. Parents seem to be questioning the decision of a Maine school board to launch an iPad pilot program for kindergarten students.
Are any of you currently using iPad in kindergarten? What do you think about the parent's arguments?
OMG!!!! I teach K-12. I use iPads in ALL grades! In fact, the younger the student the more I see how valuable iPads are! Also, there are so many great apps for lower elem students!
Yes, it is costly, but seeing with my own eyes how it promotes learning and achievement, it is very worth the investment.
Typing on an iPad 2
I'm with you, Sheree. Have you had parents question the value of these tools in education? There isn't much research on the tool, due to its newness. How might you convince an uneasy parent?
In the article, the parents believe, "children need face-to-face interaction and the fine motor skills development that comes from hands-on activities and creative instruction." I would think that the iPads are just one part of classroom learning. However, does that justify the cost of $200,000? I am not sure.
For reasons I don't want to go into here online, I can't explain my answer fully. However I will say, the parents of my students rarely respond to curricular activities or events. It is sad. There are many reasons why there is little input or feedback. I even send out a quarterly "Postcard From the Artroom" explaining our lessons and units. I have never gotten one response, ever.
Yes.. ipads BELONG in K... more than other grades I would even say... the number of apps (esp. free ones) made for pre-k-1 is amazing.
iPads help with the problem of differntiation in K-(especially in a 1:1 program) for kids in my class- some who should be in prek still, while others could be in 1st easy and even 2nd.
with the ipads kids at all levels can work on needed skills- with individualized feedback. The feedback (some apps are better than others on feedback) is instant and many apps offer scaffolding... if the child doesn't answer correctly the apps can help the child to get the right answer.
Research and common sense supports early intervention- the sooner the child gets individualized support the more successful in the long run.
ipads are so intuitive kinders can use them without teacher support- freeing the teacher to work with other kids uninterrupted.
Ipads replace the need for CD players, flash cards, lots of manipulatives, books, computer programs, whiteboards. and so much more. They can be used for collaborative projects too.
Most people who doubt the power of ipads in the hand of a kinder either haven't seen one used by a young child or are technology refugees!
Like any technology or teaching tool- if used improperly, there will be little or no benefit. Ipads ised by an effective teacher- priceless!
I totally agree with EVERYTHING Sue said. Also, there is another issue that I see in classes. Regardless of student age, there is total "buy in". The kids love iPads, they want to do their work on iPads, and their behavior and attentiveness reflects their desire to use iPads. I had my yearly observation last week. I chose to work with our lowest elementary class. I started with a Smartboard presentation and they kids loved moving the images around the whiteboard in answer to my questions. That was fun. However, the second I pulled out my stack of iPads for the second part of the lesson, there was an actual physical transformation in the body language of every student. It was like a magic wave of great student behavior. They all sat straight up in their seat almost as a cue to me: I am ready to use my iPad!!! I work at a school for students with behavior disorders. If iPads can do that for my students, they can be a blessing in any classroom.
Here is an example of a preschool class that I know using them successfully.
I came across an article titled Should Preschoolers Have iPads? And I thought about this discussion thread. There was a question posted in the article that got me thinking about the design of educational apps and online activities. The question teachers should ask:
Is that touch screen triggering actions and ways of thinking that could come in handy in the real world—or merely leading our kids to touch another button?
The article suggests that only 2% of apps in the iTunes store allow for open-ended discovery and exploration.
Fortunately for us, our Thinkfinity Community members are sharing their favorite educational apps. I did a search in our community for iPad and had many great resources and tips pop up. Here is a document to some of the favorites: Best education apps.
What are your favorite apps that allow open-ended discovery?
I can't see how we would question effective use of any digital tool these days. Our kiddos see a multitude of technologies in their everyday lives. Why shouldn't they see the same thing in school? Adults and teachers are constantly looking at their smartphones (and teachers you know you do even occasionally during the day) and iPads. Why shouldn't kids be allowed to utilize the same technology? People challenged the use of computers with primary kids years ago. It's only a matter of time.
Our district has little tech tool integration in individual classes. K Teachers in one school, however, wrote grants to purchase 5 iPads and have gotten good support from parents, student use is also successful. Here are videos I created last winter that show how they are used and an interview with the teacher just a few months after integration...