While K-12 schools around the country search for funding to provide iPads to every student, an education researcher in North Carolina has found that even a single iPad can make a huge difference in the classroom.
The results of her experience with student teachers at Wake Forest University appear in the December/January issue of Learning & Leading With Technology, the magazine of the International Society for Technology in Education.
“Because they’re truly part of the digital generation, our pre-service teachers and the K-12 students they teach have a natural aptitude for tablet devices,” said Kristin Redington Bennett, an Assistant Professor of Education at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Though iPads can cost more than $500 with 3G access and a budget for apps, Bennett said, “Don’t discount the device because of its price. We found that just one iPad allowed teachers to design creative lesson plans tailored to individual learners.”
One of her pre-service teachers even used the iPad to solve a problem with a disruptive student who made trouble in the reading center every morning. But when the teacher showed the student how to download books on the iPad, he read with focus for 20 minutes each morning – a goal he had not achieved until then.
“Anything new and different is engaging for kids,” said Nancy Davidson, a senior elementary education major at Wake Forest who used an iPad in her student teaching last semester. “Tracking student growth through apps, pictures and videos became more efficient for me and more interesting for the children. Using the iPad in class started as a luxury, but quickly became a normal part of their learning process.”
Bennett’s pre-service teachers used the iPads in three ways:
“What often happens in schools is that they purchase this new technology and expect teachers to use it with little training in how to design successful instruction with it,” Bennett said. “My goal is to train our elementary education candidates to graduate from our program with the skills and fluency in the use of mobile technology to support teaching and learning. This has allowed many of our graduates to be leaders in their schools even as a first-year teacher.”
Based on her experience, Bennett recommends these top 10 apps for use with elementary-school students:
For more information, see Bennett’s research website: http://kbennett.net/.
About Wake Forest University:
Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at www.wfu.edu.
Katie Neal, firstname.lastname@example.org, 336.758.6141
Categories: Media Advisory