Part l Summary: This article is about Charleston County Schools and their new iPad addition to their school. They have spent over 9 million dollars on iPads in their schools because they believe that it will increase students’ test scores. Many officials have found jumps in test scores due to the use of iPads in the classroom. A principle Travis Benintendo from Haut Gap Middle School, believes that the iPads are a great learning tool for students and is a new way to engage students academically. Charleston wants to expand the use of iPads to all schools in the district. When looking at test scores, they found many gains in reading for fifth and eighth grade students. When looking at math scores, they found many gains in eighth graders as well as gains of certain ethnicities such as black, Hispanic, and language learners. The more the teachers are knowledgeable on the new technology, they believe, the more effective it will be on the students and their learning. When students of Haut Gap Middle School were asked how they liked the iPad one said that she likes how fast she is able to receive the information that she is looking for. Principle Travis Benintendo wants to make sure that teachers are trained on how to properly use the devices. It is a slow process of introducing technology into classes and it is something that cannot be rushed if they want it to work effectively.
Part ll Questions and Answers:
Q1: How will this issue help or hinder student learning?
A1: iPads will help student learning by allowing them to use different tools to find information. The more you engage students in learning, the better that they will be in the long run. Introducing it at a younger age, I believe, would even be better for the student. This would allow them to get a firsthand experience on how to properly use new technology that will benefit them in the learning process. The only way that this could hinder the student is if the student did not use the technology wisely and used it for playing games. There is a big difference between the iPad the students may use at home versus the iPad that they use in classrooms.
Q2: What examples of this issue have you observed in your own experience?
A2: I helped out in a fifth grade special education class in Grand Blanc, Michigan. The children had access to iPads in the classroom, to assist their learning and it really seemed to engage the students. The teacher had only a few iPads for the small group of children that she worked with, so the device was under control of the teacher. Students seemed to enjoy using the iPad to look up information for their project that was coming up. Some students had trouble using the iPad at first, but the teacher guided them along to show the students how to properly use the device.