Embracing iPads increases student success

Posted on Monday, 1/13/2014 2:12 PM

From allowing students to virtually attend class sessions to increasing participation among struggling pupils, Apple's iPad offers benefits that reach far beyond classroom instruction. Whether being used by teachers to help facilitate a lesson or by students to further integrate themselves within one, the iPad allows for several different mediums in which educators can best take advantage of the technology.

Apps, apps, apps
According to Apple's website, more than 65,000 apps currently exist that are specifically designed for education on the iPad. This student software encompasses everything from mathematics drills and vocabulary building to improving study habits. By allowing students to play with these interactive apps, teachers have the opportunity to supplement teaching material with exciting multimedia examples that allow students to remain engaged in the material while having fun. 

One app in particular, iBooks, allows users to download books on their iPad, instead of having to purchase and carry physical copies. Not only does iBooks feature a wide range of educational and children's books for free download, but it allows teachers to craft their own interactive learning materials to supplement downloaded content.

Virtual classroom 
While the iPad is a great resource to connect students inside the classroom, it has proven to be invaluable in connecting students outside as well. Holy Rosary Regional Catholic School, a K-8 school in Plymouth, Pa., utilized this technology to keep a young girl with pneumonia engaged in the classroom, according to the Montgomery News.

Sophia Giamo, a fourth-grade student at the school, suffers from illness-induced asthma that causes her to miss chunks of school whenever she came down with an illness, even as small as the common cold. After experiencing an attack that eventually lead to pneumonia, Giamo was forced to stay at home until she regained enough strength to return.

Upon the suggestion of her principal, Lisa Hoban, Giamo and her fourth-grade teacher began using the iPad app FaceTime to keep Giamo up to date with her lessons. Each morning, her teacher turns on the iPad and sets it down on a desk, allowing her to not only see and hear her classmates, but remain involved in the instruction as her teacher makes sure to ask questions and call on the student.

Digital creation
While the iPad offers a number of apps designed to help assist teaching lessons, it also features several apps aimed at user-creation, including programs that allow for story creation, video and movie capabilities, song production and presentation preparation. These apps, including Keynote, Pages, iMovie and GarageBand, allow students to create their own content with the assistance of student software. 

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