January 11, 2011
“I think [the iPad] could very well be the biggest thing to hit school technology since the overhead projector.”
The title of this post is a quote from this recent New York Times article, which is headlined "Math That Moves: Schools Embrace the iPad." Here is some of the discussion surrounding this quote:
The iPads cost $750 apiece, and they are to be used in class and at home during the school year to replace textbooks, allow students to correspond with teachers and turn in papers and homework assignments, and preserve a record of student work in digital portfolios. “It allows us to extend the classroom beyond these four walls,” said Larry Reiff, an English teacher at Roslyn who now posts all his course materials online.
Technological fads have come and gone in schools, and other experiments meant to rev up the educational experience for children raised on video games and YouTube have had mixed results. Educators, for instance, are still divided over whether initiatives to give every student a laptop have made a difference academically....
But school leaders say the iPad is not just a cool new toy but rather a powerful and versatile tool with a multitude of applications, including thousands with educational uses....
Educators also laud the iPad’s physical attributes, including its large touch screen (about 9.7 inches) and flat design, which allows students to maintain eye contact with their teachers. And students like its light weight, which offers a relief from the heavy books that weigh down their backpacks.
Roslyn administrators also said their adoption of the iPad, for which the district paid $56,250 for the initial 75 (32-gigabyte, with case and stylus), was advancing its effort to go paperless and cut spending. In Millburn, N.J., students at South Mountain Elementary School have used two iPads purchased by the parent-teacher organization to play math games, study world maps and read “Winnie the Pooh.” Scott Wolfe, the principal, said he hoped to secure 20 more iPads next school year to run apps that, for instance, simulate a piano keyboard on the screen or display constellations based on a viewer’s location. “I think this could very well be the biggest thing to hit school technology since the overhead projector,” Mr. Wolfe said.
The New York City public schools have ordered more than 2,000 iPads, for $1.3 million; 300 went to Kingsbridge International High School in the Bronx, or enough for all 23 teachers and half of the students to use at the same time.
More than 200 Chicago public schools applied for 23 district-financed iPad grants totaling $450,000. The Virginia Department of Education is overseeing a $150,000 iPad initiative that has replaced history and Advanced Placement biology textbooks at 11 schools. And six middle schools in four California cities (San Francisco, Long Beach, Fresno and Riverside) are teaching the first iPad-only algebra course, developed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Even kindergartners are getting their hands on iPads. Pinnacle Peak School in Scottsdale, Ariz., converted an empty classroom into a lab with 36 iPads — named the iMaginarium — that has become the centerpiece of the school because, as the principal put it, “of all the devices out there, the iPad has the most star power with kids.”
In this blog space a mere 10 months ago, before anyone even got a chance to get their hands on the iPad, I opined here on "How an iPad (or an even better e-tablet) could transform legal education." I continue to be intrigued (but not surprised) that law schools and legal publishers are already behind the curve on this tech front, but this story confirms my sense that the law students of the future will not merely expect an digital-friendly educational environment, they will demand it. As I put the matter in my prior post, "the iPad may not prove to be the casebook tipping-point technology, but it seems to me to be only a question of when, not whether, the traditional casebook will go the way of vinyl records and VCR tapes."
Some recent related iPad posts:
- Could the iPad help transform law school and even lawyering?
- An iPad in a Law School Class -- A Skeptical View
- How an iPad (or an even better e-tablet) could transform legal education
- Incorporating Technology & University Responses
- How could/should Apple (or other tech companies) partner with a law school to foster e-casebooks?
- Supreme Court Justices are now doing work on iPads and Kindles, when will law students?
Posted by DAB