Following the trend of mass mobile device adoption, educators increasingly contemplate possibilities of using iPads in classroom. State-of-the-art mobile technology is getting more and more popular in different settings and schools are no exception. Adoption of mobile devices is transforming traditional classrooms into a place that delivers real-world knowledge using efficient tech resources.
Why So Popular?
In the era of digital data and online communications, iPads are able to reach spaces traditional teaching methods cannot. These spaces mostly refer to the Internet and a variety of applications and pieces of information available online. Constant access to important educational resources is probably the major benefit of using iPads in classroom but it’s up to an educator to find the right ways to use it.
An additional reason to consider using iPad as an educational tool is the fact that learners have been actively using it in private purposes for years. So, what’s the point of limiting their use in classroom if teenagers already have a constant access to them outside of it?
Even though not every school or classroom is an appropriate setting for iPad implementation, educators should definitely consider the possibilities and embrace mobile technology just like their students did in their everyday lives.
I believe most of us remember the times when collaborative school projects meant gatherings at someone’s home after school. These projects would usually be done properly and we’d have a great time working on them. However, such a project would always make us spend too much time on the very organization, which is why there usually wasn’t enough time for more than a single project per semester.
With the development of web tools such as Dropbox and Skype, it has become a lot easier to organize teams of people to work on a single project. Since communication is smooth and team members can view or edit files remotely at the same time, a project could be finished much faster. In this regard, iPad can be a crucial tool for enabling the shift towards collaborative learning.
The Internet has changed so many aspects of our everyday lives by providing us with constant access to useful resources. This revolution significantly transformed higher education and created more opportunities for academic development and research. Though it becomes increasingly difficult to find reliable information in the sea of different websites, the Internet remains the most efficient research tool one can make use of. The access to educational websites, free online libraries, dictionaries and encyclopedias changed the way we approach learning today. By allowing their students to use iPads in the classroom, teachers practically train them to develop their research skills.
Foreign Language Learning
There are different ways in which iPads can contribute to efficiency of foreign language classes. Language courses need to be interactive in order to enable students to gain real-world knowledge and sufficient speaking and listening skills. With an iPad as an interactive platform it is easier than ever to practice language skills. Plethora of free or low-priced apps can help students work on critical language skills on their own. Simple applications for learning grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation, as well as interesting online exercises enable even young learners to start working on their language skills.
Besides this, students can join language learning networks and communicate with native speakers, which is frequently impossible in traditional classrooms due to the general deficit of foreign instructors in certain regions.
Now and Then
Conservative educators may still restrain from introducing tech innovation, believing that their centuries-long teaching methods can work for new generations the same way they have been working for the old ones. This may be true to a certain extent but is not the reason to ignore the benefits of mobile learning. After all, education has always been in line with the requirements of the society, its purpose being to equip students with real-world skills.
Similarly, iPads can refresh traditional classrooms by introducing the look and feel of the real world that everybody faces after school. This world is increasingly mobile and digital and there’s plenty of reasons to include it in class curriculum.
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