iPad vs. Textbook: Who Wins?
Lately, there has been a lot of talk about the iPad being a tool for teaching and learning, as discussed in this Yahoo Finance Article.
It’s no surprise that many schools are turning to the popular and trendy iPad and away from textbooks. In addition to providing a more technology-driven learning environment for students, the iPad can be a good economical solution for schools, especially in a time where budgets are under scrutiny.
“Apple officials say they know of more than 600 districts that have launched what are called ‘one-to-one’ programs, in which at least one classroom of students is getting iPads for each student to use throughout the school day.”
iPads have not quite taken over the way we teach and learn. There are still situations where textbooks are superior to technology, but there are also situations in which the iPad leads the pack.
With technological advances in education come challenges to the school districts that employ these new technologies. Monitoring how students use the iPad and what they can access on them is difficult. And some districts are weary that iPad costs will outweigh textbook costs simply because technology changes and needs to be upgraded often.
I believe that Apple can and will work with schools to find a solution that makes everyone happy. Apple won’t want to lose their education customers, so the costs of upgrades and renewal plans will likely become more appealing to schools over time.
The iPad is definitely an effective tool, but finding out exactly how to apply it in a classroom setting can be tricky and time-consuming. There is more effort required for teachers to figure out the iPad than to simply open a textbook and teach the old-fashioned way. This, in turn, will cost schools more money to properly train teachers and staff.
We all know that content is king and that schools need strong content in order to ensure the success of their students. We also know that technology plays a huge role in the way we live and is transforming our lives, and that includes the field of education. As technology evolves, the education community will become more aware of how to apply it to classroom learning. Until then, I think a hybrid of both textbook- and technology-driven solutions will be the route that most schools take. Over the next three to five years as schools transform the way they teach students, other schools will start to follow suit and find out just how much technology can change the way students learn.