The electronic learning space…

IPads and other technological devices in the classroom can be a fantastic, motivating and effective tool in the classroom, providing they are used in a manner which enhances learning. There are so many different ways to incorporate these into effective lesson. There is much debate about including mobile phones into the classroom learning space as a toll for learning. However there is much stigma about this which would be required to be debunked before this were to be a fully-fledged device in the classroom. However, it is not all quite so effective. Unfortunately it is quite evident that in some classrooms the teacher is uneducated/unaware how to use these devices, resulting in students using them inappropriately (playing games/unrelated apps), or simply are using apps with no educational value unless, used correctly. I have observed this happening in one of my associate teacher’s lessons with students not using the correct apps. For example, playing games instead of using the maths app they are required to be using. However, in the same classroom I saw the use of the app ‘socrative’ which was used as a method of quizzing the students on previously learnt knowledge. This worked really well as the students all had to do this individually, and the teacher could collect the data on her IPad as she was the ‘host’ of the quiz. I feel that for IPads to be a useful educational tool in the classroom teachers need to be prepared to have training, and take the time to search for apps that actually serve an educational purpose. In saying that, it is much easier said than done.

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2 thoughts on “The electronic learning space…

  1. I couldn’t agree more with you that teachers must have a sound knowledge of any kind of technology that is to be used in the classroom. We, as teachers need to have a comprehensive understanding of iPads and Apps that are installed on these if we are to use them in the classroom. Its the same as anything we do in the classroom, we wouldn’t set a maths game as part of a lesson without first learning the rules of the game itself. I see technology as no different. With this knowledge comes responsibility that we use efficient and appropriate apps that do enhance learning, rather than just playing on the iPads for the sake of playing on the iPads. I think that there needs to be a clear division between using iPads as a reward time and using iPads for learning purposes.

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  2. Inappropriate use can be an issue. Our school has contracts for students outlining correct usage and appropriate behaviours when engaging with technology that is cosigned by the student and their parents. Constant supervision, as you were doing, is also necessary to avoid misuse. Our school can also track individual student usage. We have promethian boards in all classrooms and they have a set of eletronic pads for use by each student for quizzes and games. this delivers each childs results to the teacher -pretty amazing and good fun as teachers construct relevant quizzes. Once again, the expertise to do this is necessary first!

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