Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Stop Buying iPads, Please

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Stop Buying iPads, Please

Article excerpt

HAVE I GOT your attention? Good.

Before you starting writing me blistering e-mails, rest assured that I am not advocating the boycott of iPads. But I'd like to suggest a little restraint--or perhaps more effective communication--around what appears to be a buying craze among our nation's schools.

It seems like every month, at least, we have a new story on about the latest school district that has gone out and bought a boatload of iPads. Indeed, we reported in late July that Apple sold twice as many iPads as Macs to schools in Q3 2012.

So I get that these devices are popular. My question is: What is the plan for using them?

From the stories I've heard, it seems that many schools are thinking that the iPad is their way to achieve 1-to-1 computing. Their announcements claim that they will use their iPads to increase student engagement, create individualized learning, foster 21st century skills, and bring about world peace. (Okay, maybe not world peace.)

Those are all noble aims, but iPads, ipso facto, are not going to accomplish any of these goals. For 1-to-1 computing to achieve its promise, it has to be accompanied by some pretty seismic shifts in how instruction is delivered, the kind of curriculum being deployed (and a bunch of apps do not count as a curriculum), the role of students in directing their own learning, and how systems and structures support school change.

Maybe the schools that are gobbling up iPads like animals at feeding time do have commensurate educational restructuring measures in place. …

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