Why Did the College of Education Decide to Provide Our Instructional Technology Students with iPads?
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Image from: http://www.techwow.com/ipad-for-students/

This decision to use iPads in our program came after more than a year of research, long discussions and written applications both within and outside our college. We wanted to ensure that our Instructional Technology program was providing our students with the best training necessary, in order that each of our students would become a role model in his or her field. So, why iPads? Below is a short list of our 6 strongest reasons:

1. Most Students are Visual Learners

There is little doubt that the majority of students are visual learners. Search the Internet and you'll find a plethora of support for that statement. For example, one research article states:
Learning theorists have demonstrated that people vary in the manner in which they absorb, process, and recall what they are taught. Verbal learners, a group that constitutes about 30% of the general population, learn by hearing. They benefit from class lectures and from discussion of class materials in study groups or in oral presentations, but chafe at written assignments. Experiential learners - about 5% of the population - learn by doing and touching, and clinical work, role-playing exercises, and moot court are their best instructional modalities. Visual learners - the remaining 65% of the population - need to see what they are learning, and while they have difficulty following oral lectures they perform well at written assignments and readily recall material they have read. (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=587201)

Similarly, another article states:

"While articles may vary on the percentage of students that are visual learners, they all stress that the visual learner must be able to see the information. (Some suggest that 80 percent of all learners are NOT oral learners.)" (http://www.phschool.com/eteach/social_studies/2003_05/essay.html)

Now, the research is beginning to emerge that the iPad, in multiple ways, increases the opportunities to provide instruction with visual support. For another example, in February 2012, 40 children were selected to be given iPads. One of the primary criteria for their selection was that they were visual learners. (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/40-children-nationwide-receive-ipads-through-the-childhood-apraxia-of-speech-140062803.html)

For those enrolled in EG5523: Can you think of another another way in which iPads might be able to help visual learners... from the Internet or from your own experiences?


2. Technology is More Engaging

Similarly, there is little doubt that this technology is more engaging to our students. For example, in January, 2012, Apple released iBook 2 for the iPad2, claiming:
"Apple® today announced iBooks® 2 for iPad®, featuring iBooks textbooks, an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive." (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2012/01/19Apple-Reinvents-Textbooks-with-iBooks-2-for-iPad.html)

OK, if students are engaged, then it's likely that they are learning more. Below are examples of different levels of education, that discuss positive correlation between iPad usage and learning. Read at least the one that is closest to your area:



For those enrolled in EG5523, do you believe that iPads would be engaging or distracting in your classroom? Provide one example from an different online article or from your personal experience.
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3. Recent Changes to Bloom's Taxonomy

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The iPad gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge creatively. The importance of this is reflected in the fact that a group of psychologists thought it was valuable to change Bloom's Taxonomy by placing "Creating" at the pinnacle. The fact that they changed the nouns to verbs certainly implies a more active learner. In the next paragraph, I cite from an article that I recommend that you look at... it gives definitions of each verb.

"In 1956, Benjamin Bloom headed a group of educational psychologists who developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior important in learning. During the 1990's a new group of cognitive psychologists, lead by Lorin Anderson (a former student of Bloom), updated the taxonomy to reflect relevance to 21st century work. The two graphics show the revised and original Taxonomy. Note the change from nouns to verbs associated with each level." - http://www.odu.edu/educ/roverbau/Bloom/blooms_taxonomy.htm


For those enrolled in EG5523, share some thoughts that you had when you read about the changes to Bloom's Teaxonomy... especially as they relate to iPads.

4. Guide on the Side


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image from: http://jj20096696.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/blog-entry-2-social-constructivism/

The iPad allows teachers to far more easily take on the role of "guide on the side", rather than "sage on the stage". Constructivism is one of the of the best teaching strategies for encouraging teachers to move away from their podiums and become the encouraging "guide on the side". When the iPad was first introduced, it quickly became apparent that, even if the teacher's iPad was the only one in the room, it can still be used in ways that support constructivism. One site points out that one of the guiding principles of constructivism is: "Building useful knowledge structures requires effortful and purposeful activity." The following website specifically addresses this principle: Why the iPad is a great constructivist tool for education. A case study in Literature.


For those enrolled in EG5523, what are your thoughts? If you have your own experience, share some of those experiences. If not, use some readings to support your views.

5. K-12 Students Expect Technology

K-12 students are increasingly expecting this technology. They have used Smartphones for years and are well-accustomed to the touchscreen technology. In the summer of 2011, "an online survey of 1,000 high school students and faculty as well as district IT professions, 86 percent of students say they use technology more at home than at school. And most of them also use that technology to work on class projects or study outside of the school day". (http://www.convergemag.com/infrastucture/21st-Century-Classroom-Report-2011.html)

For those enrolled in EG5523, do you believe that your K-12 students are expecting technology?


6. Our IT students have been asking for them!!!


The students in our Instructional Technology M.Ed. program have been asking for them!!! We finally listened and responded!


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Why only Six Reasons?


Now, should we stop with six? Those were indeed the reasons that led us to our decision, but here's an article that suggests some other reasons:

Teaching with iPads: Beyond the Shiny Surface

Additionally, with iPads, you can throw away the notebooks, the legal pads, the post.its. Stay organized in class and everywhere: http://sloanconsortium.org/conferences/2011/aln/all-i-take-class-my-ipad



For those enrolled in EG5523, can you think of other reasons... with articles to support your thoughts?

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