April 8, 2011. Paul Hixon
Schools and the teachers in some neighbourhoods are struggling with the local literacy levels that are in some cases very poor. Causes of this can any combination of a number of problems or difficulties found in poor areas that have nothing to off the inhabitants, particularly the children of the area.
Reading skills and general literacy is way down on what it should be in some of these poor environments, as low as sixty percent even.
Laptops have been introduced into schools, local politicians and individuals wanting to see change in the community are advocating now that iPads be used too. Other forms of learning can seen boring to some children and school advisers as seeing that children’s faces light up with interest and excitement with tools like the amazing iPad. When adults get the iPad in their hands for the first time and see the possibilities for the device in a school situation they are pretty amazed too. Kindergarten children are benefitting from the fact that the adult getting amazed by what can be done and getting eager to pass on their enthusiasm.
The letters of the alphabet for one small boy was a mystery and he was struggling to learn them. His teacher on seeing this handed the boy an iPad to use that had an application that was made for this task. In the first couple of weeks using the app he had learned a dozen of the letters and knew all of them in a few more weeks. So it didn’t take long to be back doing the same grade level work as the rest of the classroom of pupils.
Middle school pupils have already been the recipients of laptops that have been distributed to them. The learning process became more engaging and interesting to the ones that were previously not interested in learning at school. A child that was struggling and getting switched on to learning and the benefits of school just by using a tool like the iPad has been a source of delight to the teachers. The phrase “I’m bored” used to be heard now and then when a child was just being lazy or covering for not knowing what they were supposed to know, not any more. It won’t take them long to learn how to copy files to iPad.
Apple is keen to see their technology used in the classroom, they too have had to learn how it can be utilised for various learning situations. So that parents, teachers and the governing bodies of schools are given an opportunity to experience an iPad, Apple will go into schools to demonstrate them. It is a bit of fun to use the fingers to do the gestures and whatever else on the iPad, so easy that it would be a surprise not to see some smiles on the faces of those that try out the iPad.
The iPad technology is a game changer for education, without a doubt. Opportunities are presented to pupils that would otherwise miss out on getting the best from themselves in the school environment. Good for those struggling in class but also a boon to all the levels of pupils in a general classroom. Not realising that it is work they are doing when they are having iPad fun, is the best way for a class of seven year old children.
Published April 8, 2011. Paul Hixon