Schools across the US have begun to harness the iPad as a learning tool, claiming that the technology motivates students to learn far better than traditional teaching methods. At $750 per unit, the tablets are far from cheap, but some educators are convinced that the device is more than just “a cool new toy“. There are thousands of immersive applications that students can use to learn, and teachers think that moving away from heavy textbooks is a step in the right direction.
“I think this could very well be the biggest thing to hit school technology since the overhead projector”
When compared to their dated paper counterparts, it’s hard to argue against interactive eBooks and the benefits they bring. Though, there are many educators who think that technology like the iPad has no place in a learning environment.
“There is very little evidence that kids learn more, faster or better by using these machines. iPads are marvelous tools to engage kids, but then the novelty wears off, and you get into hard-core issues of teaching and learning.”
There’s no denying that computers and digital books will eventually replace the current system of notebook paper and expensive textbooks, but is the world ready for that now? The most obtrusive barrier to entry is the current price of tablet devices, and while there are cheaper options, none provide the extensive database of high-quality teaching applications.
In order for the devices to be embraced by teachers and publishers, gadgets in the classroom need to prove their effectiveness as a serious learning tool—and not just a toy.