Those who know me are aware of my great cynicism. I always focus on the possible negatives before I look at the positives. It’s why my Year 11 English teacher put me in the debating team. I have challenged every educational initiative introduced in the last 25 years before I have accepted or rejected them.
Which leads me to the iPad in the classroom. While I am a huge fan of the device now, this time last year I had no intention of having one and only became addicted because of a generous gift. Of course I want the iPad to be a success at school but I can see a lot of issues that should be addressed. So in true Mark Gleeson fashion I am going to convince myself that my school needs iPads by convincing myself and you that my school doesn’t need iPads! (here’s hoping I lose!)
Here are the main points I’m going to argue on behalf of my school
- We already have laptops. How is the iPad going to be a better experience? Do we need yet another ICT device to add to our collection of gadgets
- A lot of the latest and greatest web 2.0 apps are flash based and don’t work on iPads. Are we limiting our children’s access to what is needed?
- The iPad was designed as a personal device. Can we get the best out of them if the students have to share them.
- Do teachers need to believe in the benefits of the iPad for them to be successfully integrated into our school curriculum?
- Can we ensure their safe and responsible use without the ability to monitor activity on iPads?
- Where’s the proof they will improve learning and engagement?
- Does the school need clear criteria for investing in iPads?
Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to attack each of these issues. Feel free to join in the conversation.