The great realization, using iPads, has been that iPads augment learning in dramatic ways. I alluded to this in some of my earlier commentary. I am always surprised when I read articles which describe the iPad as a consumption device and not really being capable of productivity or creative workflow. My perspective is very different. In fact, as time progresses, with updates to apps and new apps arriving I am finding the scope of the iPad (in our Primary School context) to be so much more powerful than the PC alternative. The iPad really enhances the learning spectrum of the technology in our classrooms. It adds real everyday functionality with provisions of cameras, calculators, compasses, voice recorders, and a host of functional apps which can be available at the touch of a finger. Additionally as an individualized learning device it can cater brilliantly for different needs in a differentiated or a PBL classroom.
The thing that I like most about the possibilities which the iPad offers is the ability to create. The apps which are designed to teach or practice skills are useful, but the iPad is capable of so much more.
The idea of using apps in conjunction with each other and of creating a workflow to show understanding / learning is where the iPad can really shine. Moving between apps of different capability and then combining features from each to produce an end product is greatly enhanced by the iPad.
Example: Literature Study, Blabber Mouth – Year 5 develop a Country and Western song which reflects events in the novel. In the novel Rowena’s father is always breaking into Country & Western song. This acted as a catalyst for this idea.