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Toronto Catholic District School Board

The iPad/Tablet ... What is it good for?

With so many technologies, devices, and apps out there, are they educational?  Which is best for us? Windows 8? Android? BlackBerry? Apple? These are the sort of questions that not only parents ask, but educators ask these very questions too.  There are so many amazing new technological advances, devices of incredible ability, and fantastic educational apps out there, there’s no limit to the learning possibilities at your fingertips. Yet, reality is such that affordability and long-term use is a very real dilemma faced in education.  The iPad has gotten bigger (well, actually smaller) and better over the years, and it will continue to do so. Other computer companies (like Samsung) continue to produce worthwhile and affordable products - the Google Nexus Tablet, Asus MeMo Pad, the Lenovo tablet, the Samsung Tab 2, and so on - these are technologies that need to be in the hands of our youngest students.  With the guidance, direction, and pedagogical direction set by our teachers and administrators, the future is an open road ready to be travelled.
 
For 2014-2015 we are planning to undertake a daring initiative - The iPads  and Tablets for Teaching & Learning Initiative.  Our school-wide project will examine the impact iPads and the Samsung Tab 2 have on our students’ learning at home and at school, as well as the impact these technological tools have on our teachers' learning and how the both the iPad and Tab 2 can benefit and transform teaching practice.  We are going to invest in minis (cost effective and purposeful) ... These tools will not replace our desktops, but rather complement what we already have and they will bring the power of APPS to our school.
 
This initiative will build on the existing evidence that states "engaging and innovative learning environments are needed to connect with today’s students and equip them for tomorrow’s world." The iPads and Tablets for Teaching & Learning Initiative will help bridge the gap between the technology used by teachers and students alike in day-to-day life and that used in schools.  We're proud to say that at our school, this gap is closing - check out our Student Computer Lounge and the technology that exists there!
 
You can visit the various links below to see how we're thinking and the direction we're taking with tablets in the classroom.
 
This is a wonderful site that starts out very simple and easy-to-follow.  It then allows the reader to dig down deeper into the uses and functionalities of the iPad and Tablets.  Fantastic start!
 
 
The iPad/Tablets inspire creativity and hands-on learning with features you won’t find in any other educational tool — on a device that students really want to use and they intuitively know how to use. Students engage with content in interactive ways, find information in an instant and access an entire library wherever they go.  It helps them to go where they want to go and learn what they want to learn and do it whenever they want ... self-directed, if you will!
 
 

Here at Epiphany, we will be exploring the use of the Mini iPad and the Samsung Tab 2.0. They will not replace our desktop PCs, nor will they take the place of our laptops and netbooks - these devices will be another further enhancement to our current technological arsenal and we truly believe they "will transform how teachers teach and students learn".  

 

The process of upgrading and keeping up to the times is not easy and it is always frightening to invest so much time and money in technology that is changing in leaps and bounds and so quickly too. To commit large amounts of money to passing fads is not the way to go. So, we're looking at both the Mini iPads and the Samsung Tab 2 (and other Tablets) - They're with us and will be for a long time.

 

Engaging our teachers and students in various technologies is an opportunity worth taking. With a vision, sound pedagogy, understanding the 21st century student and teacher, and with solid school board, community, and corporate partnerships, this process will be exciting, authentic, and enriching for all stakeholders.

 

Together, we will all continue to grow, teach, and learn from one another and from others around the world - that's the power of these new tools of the trade ... the world is our classroom now and we can truly ask (as Microsoft did some 20 years ago, "Where do you want to go today?"   

 

 

Take a look at some of the more popular apps for learning. Apple (Canada) in Education provides a taste for what is offered in the apps arena: 

 

Apps in Education for iPads  

Explore a collection of video tutorials, classroom guides, and web pages for educators

 

Apple in Education Resources

A Guide for using the iPad for K-12  teaching and learning

 

Getting Started with Apple iPads in the School

View topics, resources, and contact information ... how to use your iPad:

 

iPad Support 

Great sites to check out if you're using an iPad right now or you're just getting started ...

 

iLearn- Ideas For Using The iPad in the Classroom

 

Five Great Ideas for Using iPads in the Classroom

 

The Victoria Govt (Australia) iPads for Learning Website

 

A Few Education Apps to Get You Started

 

Gallery of Photos and Videos using the iPad 

 
 
Portable Design
 
Sure, there may be some useful apps that help the student gain the skills, knowledge or insight into the subject, but our goal here at Epiphany is to empower our teachers and students to be collaborative contributors, creative thinkers, caring and responsible citizens, effective communicators, and self-directed life-long learners — in short, we want the Apple iPad and the Samsung Tablet to be another "learning and thinking tool” for our teachers and  students.  Check out these websites and blogs that utilize the Apple iPad and Samsung Tablet as a thinking and learning tool.  In the end, it's not the brand that counts, but the fact that these tools are in the hands of our students and they are preparing today's children to be contributing citizens of not only our school and community, but of our society and the world!
 

Resources for the Classroom (Blog) 

 

50 Resources for  iPads and Tablet Uses in the Classroom

 

Transforming Teaching & Learning (Blog)

 

Using iPads to Enhance Teaching and Learning​​​

 

*Note: References to iPad and Samsung Tab 2.0 are not meant to be limiting.  Any APP or use of one particular manufacturers product is not limited to that product alone, but can be applied and utilized in many other products (i.e., Android, Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry).​