Does the iPad foster or hinder creativity? Is it a comprehensive tool or just a mere distraction? Do we use the iPad just because it makes our classroom look cool? Are we missing the forest for the trees here? So many questions!
Click here to read one teacher’s thoughts on the use of the iPad in classrooms.
Before introducing hand held devices into our classrooms, it is important that we ensure that we are clear as to how we are going to use the equipment. It is also important that we review how effective the devices are in enhancing teaching and learning.
Stories are emerging of schools purchasing iPads/tablets but with no plan as to how they are going to be used. In these cases the focus would appear to be on the equipment rather than the learning and the learner.
Small scale studies are starting to emerge that examine the effectiveness of hand held technology in the classroom. Click here to read about a small scale, informal study that examines the use of android devices in schools.
Some teachers have been very keen to get iPads into their classrooms. But what difference do iPads make to the quality of teaching and learning that takes place? Is the iPad just an expensive gimmick, or does it add value to the pupils’ experience? The same question can be asked of Android tablets.
An increasing number of research projects are looking at how iPads are being used in schools. Read one of the reports here.
The use of virtual badges is becoming an increasingly popular method of motivating pupils. Read about the thinking behind this initiative.
ClassBadges is a free online tool, to help motivate pupils, where teachers can award badges to pupils for accomplishments. Award badges can be customised for class or school use. Click here for further information.
We need to keep reminding ourselves that the technology in our schools is there to help the pupils with their learning. Sometimes we can become too fixated with the technical aspects of the technology that we are trying to use and forget that it is just a tool to enhance learning. Click here to read an article that answers the question, “Is it the technology, or is it the learning that is important?”
Western Isles Education Department has produced an on-line resource to help schools evaluate the impact of enterprise education in their establishment, in terms of the QIs and in terms of award schemes. The toolkit is also a useful reference for wider self evaluation activities.
Click here to visit the on-line toolkit.
The use of computer suites in education is hotly debated topic. Some teachers love the convenience of having a class set of computers even though they have to wait until their allotted time to use them. Other teachers prefer to have the computers distributed between all of the classrooms so that they can access them in response to the needs of the pupils. Are the days of ICT class lessons over? Can a new skill/resource/activity be demonstrated just as well on the interactive whiteboard? What do you think? Read over the articles listed below and post your comments.
School computer suites: a bad idea?
Are computer suites required in primary schools?
Alternatives to school computer suites?
Computers in suites vs. computers in classrooms
How (not) to develop ICT literacy in pupils.
An international study examining the use of ICT in education.
It is important that ICT is seen as a natural part of good learning and teaching. The challenge is to use it effectively to maximise learning and to enhance and enrich teaching. To ensure that we are using all of our ICT resources effectively we must carry out regular reviews of how ICT is impacting on teaching and learning.
There is a ready made tool which will help to review how effective ICT is being used in your establishment. The MIICE partnership (Measurement of the Impact of ICT on Children’s Education) has produced a toolkit that will assist schools in evaluating the use of ICT. Click here for further information.