The iPad offers several key features that can enhance learning in the classroom. Firstly students find it easy to hold and enjoy using the touch interface. The visual nature of iPad apps means that students can navigate around the device and achieve their learning outcomes without a high level of literacy or technical knowledge.
Generally iOS Apps are well designed and intuitive to use. The range of educational software makes it well suited to any school setting. iOS Apps like Book Creator, iMovie, Explain Everything, iMotion, Green Screen, Scratch Jr and iTunes U all have the potential to significantly enhance the learning environment in any classroom. These types of apps enable students to use creative effects to enhance their projects that would have been beyond their reach using the previous school technology.
Using the iPad provides a fantastic opportunity for students to be more creative within class. The hands-on nature of many creative projects brings increased focus, engagement and independent learning. This also means that it caters for visual, kinesthetic and auditory learning styles very well.
These types of projects often involve students working in groups, which will develop skills like collaboration, evaluating, synthesising, decision making, planning and delegation. All of these higher-order thinking skills are vital to our students in the 21st century and in future work places.
The iPad enables students to be more mobile around the classroom compared to a desktop PC. Whether they are surfing the internet at their desk or making movies outside the classroom, the iPad allows for a more flexible approach to ICT in the school environment.
The iPad has significant benefits for students with special needs. The accessibility features, range of Apps, form factor and touch interface significantly enhance their inclusion in class.
The iPads versatility means that students are able to create, edit, display and share content all from the one device. Its ability to take photos, movies, scan, record sound, file share and create documents enables it to replace other forms of existing technology and hence make the device more cost effective.
Finally, the most significant advantage of the iPad over a traditional desktop computer is that it’s ease of use, touch interface and form factor places the focus back on learning, not learning the technology.