Have read a number of postings on twitter about iPads in schools plus have written a few postings myself. The key issue as I see it at the moment revolves very much around language. On one hand, we have people professing the benefits of iPad use in classrooms and on the other hand we have those saying they have little benefit and also may even be detrimental to learning. The issue here is the very generic language, that iPads are or are not beneficial, having a positive or having a negative impact. It is not that simple as iPads are but a tool for use in learning. Would we so easily comment on a hammer as being beneficial? In the hands of a skilled tradesman, maybe it is beneficial however in the hands of a burglar or thug or even a DIY experimenter?
For those sharing ideas with regards iPads, we need to take care and qualify what we are saying. “In my school we…”. “With my classes, teaching X, we….”. The context makes all the difference as what works in one context may not transfer to others. For those seeking to criticise, I would ask that they to seek to provide context to the evidence they use. We can’t generalize about the use of iPads in schools as the context varies so significantly, so we should stop trying to generalise.
This ‘In Brief’ article originally appeared in the August 2016 edition of UKEdMagazine. Click here to freely read online.
@garyhenderson18 Director of IT – Somerset