Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Questions, Questions, Questions

This afternoon we had a fantastic faculty meeting. Several teachers who use iPads in their classrooms (at varying degrees) talked about some part of their teaching and learning journey when using this new device in the classroom.  I loved hearing how others are integrating the iPad into lessons and thinking about the possibilities it creates for all of us.  Some points that really resonated with me were: 
- think about when to use the iPad - be deliberate in your use as you would with any educational tool; 
- the process of creation motivates - student interest makes them invested in their learning; 
- iPads can help customize the learning for each child we teach; 
- creating innovators should be our goal - where kids get the information from now is not as relevant; 
- don't worry about starting small - go at the pace that works for you; and 
- when getting started with the iPad as a classroom tool, you might be at the substitution phase for a while - this is ok!

At the end of the meeting, I was full of questions.  How are we going to move forward with our iPad program in the elementary grades? As a younger grade teacher, are there aspects of use of technology that I should be directly teaching? Is exploration of an app enough? Many children find this device intuitive, but what about the children who need a lesson?  iPads are not the only computers that children will have to use in their life. When are they taught to use a laptop? Will parents be expected to take on more teaching of the rote skills of using a Word program for example? Are there enough similarities among the devices that adults can expect children will be able to use any digital device since this is the world they are growing up in?

I love that our faculty is engaged in these discussions. It is very inspiring to hear my colleagues talk of their successes and failures. It's also nice to know that I am not on this journey of exploration alone!