iPad app-titude – the impact of tablet computers in schools.


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iPad app-titude – the impact of tablet computers in schools.

Years ago, every student was expected to show up at school with a pencil and a Big Chief tablet.  Students today still use tablets, but today’s tablets are often electronic.  Although these modern tablets still offer the promise (and angst) of blank slates for budding writers, they also provide powerful portable computing that students years ago could only dream about.  The tablet of choice in today’s schools?  iPads.

We’ve seen all kinds of stories about educational apps since the iPad was introduced in April 2010.  Anyone who’s ever picked up an iPad will not be surprised that the device’s power and ease of use quickly made it the hot tech item of 2010 for schools across the United States.  The recent announcement of the iPad 2 will further fuel demand for tablets in classrooms.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently reported that the state of Georgia is considering using iPads in classrooms statewide instead of books.  One of the primary reasons for the decision is how quickly textbooks are outdated. Some textbooks, for example, don’t include coverage of events that happened as long as ten years ago.  In contrast, content delivered on an iPad can be updated in real-time at very low cost to school districts. The iPad also offers expanded learning opportunities not seen with paper texts.  With visual and auditory features universally seen in iPad applications, students can more easily and quickly learn new languages, explore the solar system, discover complexities of the human body, and even take drivers education.

In addition to providing up-to-date and enhanced instructional information, iPad apps can help students track assignments, take notes during class, study for finals, or keep on schedule.  Teachers can use iPad apps to prepare lesson plans, present those lessons, and monitor student progress.  Educational content previously not widely available now is – the Apple App Store includes, as part of iTunes U, 350,000 free lectures, videos, readings, and podcasts from learning institutions all over the world. Universities such as Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Oxford, Cambridge, MIT, Beijing Open University, and The University of Tokyo, as well as broadcasters such as PBS, offer free content on iTunes U.

In short, many educational apps are already out there.  Here’s a spreadsheet of educational apps put together by the Texas Computer Education Association.  If you’re looking for reviews of educational apps, I Education Apps Review is a great resource.  Just because there are lots of educational apps already in use doesn’t mean the market is saturated – we still get lots of requests for educational app development quotes.  If you’ve got an idea for an educational app optimized for iPad, visit our iPad app development quote site and get three free iPad app development quotes.

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