Using the iPad for education

iPad /

Apple's iPad has been rapidly adopted in the education sector. This is especially true in states where the Common Core State Standards have been accepted, as those places have an added focus on technology and instruction in K-12 classrooms. While iPads were not designed specifically with the classroom in mind, these devices are growing in popularity as they are cost-effective alternatives to laptops and desktop computers. They are also popular options because they offer mobility, meaning that students can transport them to and from school in the same way they would carry books in a backpack.

Korea's ETNews reported recently that Apple is rumored to be working on a new larger iPad targeted at the education market. The report indicated that the rumored device would be 12.9 inches, called the iPad Maxi and should be released at some point in 2014. While this is only a rumor, PatentlyApple pointed out that it has generated considerable interest because Apple recently filed for a patent for a new hybrid notebook-tablet device, and the rumored iPad Maxi's larger screen size could make sense in this context.

Using tablets in the classroom
There are many ways that instructors are using tablets in the classroom today. Because iPads are so versatile and customizable, they can also replace heavy and costly print texts, enabling students to download more affordable digital versions of course materials instead.

In a recent article for The Hutchinson News, contributor Mary Clarkin reported that Inman Elementary School recently held a seminar to teach educators on ways to utilize the iPad for daily classroom activities. One feature that Clarkin detailed was a special color signal that appears on students' iPads that signals if individual students know the correct answer to a question. By using this sort of signaling system, teachers no longer have to call on the same student time and time again and can easily ascertain which students do and do not know the material. Then, using an app called Stick Pick, instructors can keep track of how often a student is called on as well as how many times he or she answers correctly. This allows teachers to better spread out attention among students who need a little extra help.

Clarkin noted that Inman USD 448 is working on providing an iPad for every enrolled student. One of the main concerns with implementing this technology in the classroom is that younger students are more likely to break these costly devices. However, schools can turn to iResQ's iPad repair programs. It's a cost-effective way to enable the leaders of tomorrow without breaking the budget today.

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