Apple’s iPad In The Classroom
It might seem a little late to write a blog about the iPad. It has been out for a few months now. Many teachers and administrators already see the value of iPads in the classroom. What makes it so good for the classroom? Let’s look at the basics. The iPad is small and easy to carry. I’m talking about children from third grade on up. You might not want to put this in the hands of a kinder or first grade student. The intuitive taping and finger gestures are easy for young children to grasp. Long battery life really makes the iPad useful. I find that the battery on my iPad easily lasts more than a day with constant use. With good power management the battery can last much longer. Teachers won’t have to worry about charging during classroom instruction. This liberates students from the power tether that most laptops impose after only a few hours of use. The built-in wireless access is very convenient for districts that have a wireless infrastructure in place. This liberates both teachers and students from a static location. This portability is very useful when teachers need to use the device around the classroom and when students need to move around in groups. The Bluetooth connectivity is useful for external devices like keyboards and data sharing.
There are a few things you can connect to the iPad and they can add lots of functionality for the teacher in the classroom. The headphone jack is great when students needs to listen to Podcasts, audio books, or interactive learning activities that incorporate sound. A built-in microphone is useful for students to interact with various media applications built for the iPad. This microphone can also be used to develop multimedia projects like presentations with Keynote. The charging and syncing connection on the bottom of the iPad is also ideal for other attachments. The optional video adapter lets both teachers and students present a variety of media content using a projector or television. I own two other adapters that can be useful. I’m sure others will be developed in the future. The SD media card adapter can import images from a digital camera. The USB adapter is useful to import a variety of other content that can be stored onto a USB flash drive.
So far I’ve just talked about the physical attributes of the iPad. In future blogs I will discuss how the built-in features can be used in a variety of classroom situations. I will also spotlight various applications that can be used in the classroom.