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Focus On - iPads In Our Classroom - Justin Smith - Deputy Principal

20/08/2014

At Kruger, we believe that ICTs need to be both taught explicitly and used as a tool in all classrooms. In previous articles, I have explained the use of interactive whiteboards and computers in classrooms and the Year 1-3 computer lessons. Our latest innovation is the iPad trial in Prep –Year 2.

Our Prep students will graduate in 2026 into a very different world. Already our washing machines have more computing power than NASA did to reach the moon. Human knowledge is doubling every 2 days and every 10 minutes by 2021. Our children live in a multimedia world - a world where information is available about anything just about anywhere just about any time.  They expect instant communication and often in a digital way. Knowledge jobs will be 70% of the workforce. Business wants these skills not knowledge - creativity, critical thinking, collaboration & communication.

This means teachers have to adapt how we teach also. We have researched schools around Australia in how we can further use ICTs, specifically iPads to assist student learning. The benefits of this type of learning include:

·         High levels of student engagement

·         Opportunities to individualise learning

·         Real world learning –access to resources

·         Collaborative approach to learning

·         Development of problem solving skills

·         Enhanced communication skills

 We have decided to introduce iPads because of the stability of the platform and the control over licensing Apps by Apple to avoid issues with malware and viruses. Additionally Apple has a specific education focus with by far the greatest number of Apps (many free) available. Teachers have been assessing Apps which will be preloaded on the devices with a core list and a year level list installed.  The school has developed a central hub to control the deployment of the iPads and the applicable software.

The full implementation of the program will begin before the end of this term, with a review at the end of the year.  I am convinced this will be a great benefit for our students.  However, the iPad is just a tool.  You don’t need to buy one but, if you do, you may just find it hard to borrow back!!