The Kloiber Foundation
Magic iPad Bullet
A recent article in the Atlantic spotlights and expounds upon a problem we’ve seen cropping up for the past few years. When we meet with schools to discuss their plans for improving student’s educations via technology iPads often come up. On rare occasion there will be a solid, research based curriculum attached, but in most cases not. Many educators seem to have been sold on the idea that the iPad is a magic bullet that will somehow raise test scores, close gaps, and intervene with students in need of intervention. Schools following that approach tend to end up with a closet full of tablets gathering dust.
The iPad, like any other piece of hardware, is a tool whose application and usefulness is limited to and dependent upon it’s user’s plan of action. With the burgeoning tablet market, the options for similar tools has grown, many of which are equally capable and cheaper, sometimes substantially so. This is also assuming that a tablet is the best way to go as far as exposing kids to technology so they can develop 21st century skills and college and career readiness.
The debate in the article seemed like a forgone conclusion considering the versatility of a chromebook compared to the limitations of a tablet. A laptop with a keyboard is a much more predominant interface in today’s world than a touchscreen. While we do have to take into account usage in the future for these kids, the keyboard has been around for a while and I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon.
In the end, again, it comes down to how much planning and research is applied to the hardware’s usage. There are schools all over the world using new technology in new, innovative, research and study based ways that can fit a plethora of different situations.