iPads In The Classroom

With Meghna Chakrabarti in for Tom Ashbrook

Tablets computers—iPads and the rest—are moving into children’s classrooms and backpacks. How is that changing learning? Homework time?

In this Aug. 23, 2011 photo, a student unpacks her new iPad at Burlington High School in Burlington, Mass. Burlington is giving iPads this year to every one of its 1,000-plus high school students. Some classes will still have textbooks, but the majority of work and lessons will be on the iPads. (AP)

In this Aug. 23, 2011 photo, a student unpacks her new iPad at Burlington High School in Burlington, Mass. Burlington is giving iPads this year to every one of its 1,000-plus high school students. Some classes will still have textbooks, but the majority of work and lessons will be on the iPads. (AP)

Apple’s unveiled the new iPad mini. Amazon’s upped its services for Kindle, too. Suddenly it seems tablet computers are everywhere. Including classrooms. School districts large and small are paying big money to put tablets in students’ backpacks.

The technology could be a powerful new teaching tool. Or, could they be a distraction from the focused work of real learning. Steve Jobs once said, “It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.” But do we want tablets in schools?

This hour, On Point: iPads, Kindles, and the challenges of the 21st century classroom.

-Meghna Chakrabarti


Shayne Evans, director of the four campuses of the University of Chicago Charter School.

Daniel Willingham, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia.

Janet Frazier, mother and candidate for school board in Lexington, South Carolina.

From The Reading List

Bloomberg “For districts around the country, though, it’s the price as much as the cool quotient that could draw them to a new, smaller version of the iPad that Apple will unveil tomorrow at an event in San Jose, California. Apple has long been a leader in education, and schools began embracing the iPad soon after its 2010 debut. Yet as fiscal budget shortfalls crimp spending all the more, schools in growing numbers are warming to the handheld devices as an alternative to more expensive laptops.”

New York Times “A growing number of schools across the nation are embracing the iPad as the latest tool to teach Kafka in multimedia, history through “Jeopardy”-like games and math with step-by-step animation of complex problems.”

Ed Week “As you may have heard today, Apple announced their E-Textbook Initiative to enter and revolutionize the textbook market, specifically centering these initiatives to highlight the potential of the iPad in education.”

Educational Apps

Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.

Notability is optimized for the new iPad! It powerfully integrates handwriting, PDF annotation, typing, recording, and organizing so you can take notes your way! Discover the freedom to capture ideas, share insights, and present.

Co-Writer is a word prediction program. It works with most writing application, such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, or WordPress. Co:Writer analyzes writing in real time and offers word choices based on grammar. The program deciphers phonetic and invented spellings and misspellings with reversed or missing letters.

Math Magic
Don’t you just love how much your child has improved in adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing? You never get tired of hearing, “Can I do math?” from your six year old, do you? Of course you don’t.

Studyblue flashcards
Make, study and share online flashcards, study guides and quizzes. Anytime. Anywhere.

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