Through following tweets, I stumbled across this blog on “Upcoming iOS 9.3 Update a Potential Game Changer for Teaching with iPads.” A few thoughts came to mind right away. Bare with me since I have no idea how iPads are used in the K12 classroom; so, my thoughts will seem naïve and infantile like.
First, it would be so cool if each student could own their own iPad or borrow one from the school and take responsibility for damaged or loss of device. I would love to haul this light and powerful device around in my backpack in place of several, heavy textbooks, notebook paper, and binders/pocketful of papers full of worksheets. I am not saying that we won’t have some old-fashion writing mediums, just reducing some of the load would be nice.
Second, the ideal is to have most of the materials, including textbooks, on the iPad for access. I have noticed that this is becoming more popular with college, math and science textbooks. Students are able to access an online copy as well as have their hard copy, which they often leave at home. As a means to save paper, it would be convenient to access teacher’s Power Point slides and worksheets online as opposed to having printout of all these materials. Additionally, students often don’t have enough writing room on their math worksheets or would like a fresh copy to rework/practice the problems again later on in preparation for cumulative finals.
Third, it would be so awesome to simply DO the work on the iPad. For example, I would just use the keyboard to type or stylus to free-write, work out math problems, then upload the assignment. If internet is a problem, then a solution is to have the text and worksheets downloaded and saved onto the device; so that it can be opened when the student gets home. These students can then work their problems on a piece of paper, use the camera feature to take a photo of their work (homework completion), and use the first five minutes of class to upload it or once they get to school. Regardless, all students can always turn in their hard copy instead.
It would be so cool to say to the class, “Turn to page 26 in your ‘Beginning Algebra’ book.” As the students change class into a different subject that day, another teacher could do the same for their subject discipline. The fact that you can go online, do many online/offline activities directly on the iPad, then have the students “turn it in” is endless.
I think it’s just a matter of time before something like this becomes mainstream. What are you thoughts or what do you know that is happening with iPads in the classroom that I don’t know?