iPads in the classroom like any technology have positive aspects alongside a list of negatives. iPads were originally designed to be a personal device where purpose, form, and function successfully blend. In the classroom a myriad of circumstances and need such as safety and distractibility tempt educators to move away from making all the benefits available with restrictive results. However, a wealth of educational experience and research has been emerging demonstrating significant value of having iPads in the classroom and available to students. Below is a brief summary along with links to articles on this topic.
- The iPad is well known among educators and students to be intuitive and trouble free to use. Even technically challenged educators find iPads reliable and easy to use.
- The personal device aspect allows students to have their own personalized calendar, camera, easy access to personal email, and class networking as arranged by the teacher.
- iPads broaden the variety of engaging and meaningful learning experiences available to students due to the thousands of available apps.
- eBooks and digital content are available to reduce textbook cost and weight of books in the backpacks.
- There are thousands of proven educational apps available.
- iPads are a big hit with teachers for use in learning centers for lower grade classrooms.
- iPad management tools continue to improve which increases security and flexibility for classroom use.
- Batteries are powerful enough to last a day at school.
- iPads have high praise with both teachers and students for their instant on aspect and quick processors. There are no long delays to “booting” up the computer.
- AirPlay has made printing and sharing screen content fast and easy for both teachers and students.
- iPads can be an invaluable tool and learning aid for students with disabilities.
- With proper expertise the iPad can be restricted to only a school network.
- Not compatible with Adobe FLASH (interactive animation/or videos) which limits the use of many websites.
- Only one screen can be seen at a time which can be frustrating when trying to read a book and write a research paper at the same time etc.
- The finger-based interface can be frustrating to some students particularly in highlighting text.
- Initial purchase cost is higher than other devices. Generally, discounts are non-existent or minimal for volume purchases.
- The lack of a standard physical keyboard makes this a poor a choice for extensive writing and typing.
- No USB or DVD interface.