How schools are using iPads to teach students

January 15, 2019

It’s safe to say Apple has never been shy about its intention to ensure the iPad is the device of choice when it comes to education.

But after years languishing behind Google in the education stakes, last year Apple took a new tack. In March, they launched a 9.7-inch iPad targeted specifically at the education sector, while using a section of their keynote address to explain exactly how it could be employed.

So, what role does iPad play within the education environment? Here’s an insight into how schools use iPads to teach students.

An Apple for the teacher

Shortly after the iPad was first released in 2010, there was a lot of talk about its potential in the classroom.

So much so, in 2013, Secure Edge noted iPads had taken every industry including education “by storm”.

“The proliferation of iPads in the classroom will only keep accelerating,” they reflected at the time, citing research that showed iPads could help improve everything from kindergarten literacy to senior maths.

“With these powerful mobile devices come a lot of possible benefits for educators and students alike,” they continued.
But then Apple lost its edge, playing second fiddle to Google in the classroom technology push.

That was until last year, when Apple launched an all-new assault to see the education sector favour iPad use.

At their annual keynote address, Apple devoted an entire section to iPads in the classroom, unveiling a 9.7-inch iPad that supported Apple Pencil and describing it as “the ultimate tool for education use”.

They also revealed new software that allowed teachers to electronically mark assignments, showcased better iPad management and tech support tools and announced increased storage for AppleIDs used within an education framework.

iPad in action

At a school in regional Queensland, Australia, there’s a buzz in the kindergarten classroom. A class of five and six-year-olds is concentrating on a task.

Each student has an iPad and earphones and on it they are playing a game of phonics and sight words, courtesy of an app.

The app supports the formal classroom learning, and also allows the youngsters to hone their newly acquired literacy skills using a touchscreen and technology they find intuitive.

Meanwhile, the teacher spends extra one-on-one time in the quiet classroom with students who require additional assistance grasping the phonics concept.

Over in third grade, the iPad is being used for a totally different purpose. As part of a Science Technology Engineering and Math’s (STEM) project, the eight and nine-year-olds are working in groups and using the iPad to program robotic Lego via an app.

In Canada, high-school teacher Nadine Korte explains she combines problem-based learning with iPads and Apple TV in initiatives that keep her “students interested and involved”.

She projects mathematical problems from her iPad to the classroom screen, marks work on the go and showcases the student’s correct answers.
In history, she projects pictures and information from her iPad onto the screen, with students taking snapshots on their devices to help create study notes.

“I have noticed that attendance has improved in my classes and that students are learning more since they have begun participating in active learning activities,” she reflects.

“Traditionally, I would use a blackboard or a whiteboard at the front of the class to teach, but I was never happy that I couldn’t see my students’ faces to gauge how they were reacting to what I was writing.

“But now I get instant visual feedback when we are working together on problems in the active learning space.

“When used appropriately, technology is not a distraction, but a powerful tool that students can be trained to use in efficient and responsible manner.”

These are just some examples of how the iPad is being employed every day in classrooms around the globe to complement the formal education environment.

And at Apple’s keynote address, they explained there was far more to come.

iPad Stand School

Looking to deploy iPads in your school?

New school tools for iPad

Classroom

One of the major unveilings in 2018 was iPad-compatible apps that allow students to explore the world around them using augmented reality.

Art history can spring to life by virtually hanging world-renowned artworks on a classroom walls. Biology students can virtually explore the inner workings of animals like frogs and even dissect them without making a single cut.

As iMore explains, Apple delivers much of its education focused technology through software known as Classroom. The software allows teachers to see what each student is doing on their iPad, including what apps they open. Teachers can also open apps on their behalf.

“You can also open them on every iPad in a class at once to provide a guided lesson for everyone,” they note. “You can also lock one or more class iPads to a particular app, book, or webpage once they have been opened in order to provide your students with greater focus.”

Meanwhile, Apple notes setting homework, assignments or giving handouts is as easy sending an email.

In addition, Classroom features:

• Shared iPad – that lets multiple students use one iPad while still maintaining their own personal content.
• Apple School Manager – That allows teachers and tech support staff to create and manage hundreds of AppleIDs.

Augmented reality

One of the major unveilings in 2018 was iPad-compatible apps that allow students to explore the world around them using augmented reality.

Art history can spring to life by virtually hanging world-renowned artworks on a classroom walls. Biology students can virtually explore the inner workings of animals like frogs and even dissect them without making a single cut.

The final word

In a world where technology is all around us each day, many schools are implementing it to complement the formal education framework.

In doing so they hope to further engage, instil creativity and foster problem-solving amongst their students.

Now Apple is betting a chunk of its future on the belief the iPad will be the device that delivers the education result.

Share this Post
Looks like you're in the USA.
Check out our USA site.
Switch to USA site
Stay on current site