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Tuesday, 1 May 2012
iPads: A Sceptical Teacher's Point of View - By Mr Yeomans
For those regulars that are expecting to read Mr Andrews' latest blog, let me introduce myself. I am Andrew Yeomans and I also work at Spring Cottage Primary School in Hull. I have a year two class and am maths coordinator and assessment coordinator. For the next few weeks I will be adding my views on the use of the iPads in my classroom. The reason for me writing on this blog is basically to get a teachers point of view and to highlight concerns and developments in order to provide a fuller picture. I will be writing about various things that I have seen going on in school and things that I have tried in my classroom. I hope to provide worthwhile information that is clear and to the point as a teacher’s time is most valuable. You should also know that I had never used an iPad until Mr Andrews came to me a few weeks ago and said ‘I have a present for you, have a play!’.
iPads, a token gesture?
As a creative and enthusiastic teacher I was really looking forward to receiving the iPads. To be honest though, I was a bit dubious about how it would impact my teaching. The reasons for this were two fold. Firstly, although I am keen to use ICT in the classroom and truly believe it can enhance and develop learning, I am always sceptical because I have high standards and hate ICT being used as a token gesture to tick a box. Secondly, I like to personalise learning to match the children’s needs and my teaching styles. Sometimes I find ICT is not adaptable and useable enough, and I find myself being limited by the program or software. With this in mind you need to know that I will be writing truthfully at all times and I am not flying the flag for iPads just yet. I am, however, excited to discover something that might enhance learning. I hope it will be straight forward.
The ideas and methods that I am going to share with you should be seen not as ‘the way’ or ‘the only’. I will simply try and portray things colleagues and I have discovered, whether they are good or bad.
'How do I share one iPad?'
At present the school have provided all staff with an iPad each, with a view to obtaining class sets. This is great, but right now it begs the question, ‘how do I share one iPad with the whole class?’
At first the thought was that you could borrow other teacher’s iPads, use it in a small group or use one iPad to support specific children with specific requirements, from intervention through to gifted and talent children. This although affective and worthwhile seemed to be limiting the impact the iPad could have on a whole class. That was until we did a few things differently.