At the end of 2013 I surveyed the Year 8 students on what they were doing in the classroom with their iPads and how they felt about the device after two years of using them as a learning tool.
I was interested in how things had changed in terms of what was happening in the classroom. There was certainly a wider range of activities happening which indicates a move up the SAMR ladder in terms of how students are able to respond to tasks.
While the copying of information from a screen is still an issue the emergence of the use of blogs and wikis is encouraging as is the increase in the use of apps that allow students to create their own content. Apps like Puppet Pals are excellent when it comes to students being able to demonstrate their understanding of a topic or concept.
The above image demonstrates what we already knew about the iPad. What we also asked was what the students did not like about the device. The responses were varied but the responses had two similar themes.
1. The device is too restricting in terms of what the students would like to be able to do.
2. They could not access some educational sites that relied on ‘Flash’. This comes down to the teacher finding alternative sources although I suspect this was related to Scootle access which has now been solved with the Scootle app becoming available.
As this cohort has now moved to Mac Airs it will be interesting to get their perspectives on the new device as compared to the iPad.
When the College decided to go down the iPad road the dominant issues were around portability and cost. Both are important factors for incoming Year 7 parents. The iPad has been a winner in both areas and while students certainly appreciate a lighter bag they certainly do not consider cost!