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Rethinking iPads in the Classroom

Rethinking iPads in the Classroom

In today's Slate, Lisa Guernsey shares her experiences from three days at Zurich International School, "a private school that caters to English-speaking immigrants and expats whose companies have brought them to this exquisite city near the Alps."  In particular, she notes that every student in first through eighth grades has been given an iPad but their use wasn't what she had anticipated.

She assumed that the iPads would be used as portable screens, mobile gaming devices, or educational apps but found something else.  To quote, "Instead, the tablets were intended to be used as video cameras, audio recorders, and multimedia notebooks of individual students’ creations. The teachers cared most about how the devices could capture moments that told stories about their students’ experiences in school. Instead of focusing on what was coming out of the iPad, they were focused on what was going into it."

The idea that educational technology should be used for production rather than consumption is one that doesn't get as much play, perhaps because of the novelty of the technology along with instructional models based on the transmission of information.  The examples in the article are worth considering as is the article itself.

Photo credit: Yutaka Tsutano / Foter.com / CC BY

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