After having an iPad since May I now see why so many schools are embracing them and providing them for all students. Last year I was all about Netbooks in the classroom. Mostly because you can do everything and anything you want on the things, including flash-based media. What I have since learned is that one is not better than the other, and the ideal situation would be a blended environment. Particularly in a primary / elementary setting.
Kiddoes under the age of nine struggle with log-ins. Our Netbooks require the students to do two log/ins just to get to the desktop. Once they are online they then need to log-in to any application you may want them to use. Part of the struggle is due to typing ability and keyboard familiarity. I know from past experience that as the year progresses their typing skills improve, but at first it can take up to 15 minutes for this process. Another reason is that they struggle to copy from a distance. I've tried a few different things with making this easier for them, like creating log-in stickers but we quickly discoverers last year that this opens up hacking opportunities. This year I've attempted QR Codes, and think they will be successful once I work out the glitches.
Using an iPod / iPad eliminates a lot of this. More and more web 2.0 applications are creating apps, and those who haven't yet, should really consider hopping on that train. My students can access our Goodreads, kidblog, twitter, and smilebox accounts. With these apps, my students are logged in once and don't have to waste precious time doing it each time they want to do something.
There are two applications that I absolutely love and use regularly that are not compatible with the iPod / iPad due to flash, and am contemplating switching my students over to some other platforms that are. But even if I do there are an array of web 2.0 tools available that I would be denying them. Like Little Birdtales, Popplet, and Glogster. Not to mention that there are some things you just can't do in an app, like update or create your profile.
So I'm not quite ready to go go all in on any one piece of hardware. They both have their benefits and are both necessary in developing 21st Century Skills and Digital Citizenship.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad