iPads: Still a Useful Foundations Teaching ToolDavid Bozetarnik
Don’t discard your iPad so fast. The fall semester 2017 marks the move of Foundations students away from iPads and over to laptops, independent of Operating System. Teachers will be able to teach using their MacBook Pro’s, either as Macs, or as PC’s–with Bootcamp. However, let’s not be so quick to shy away from our iPads for teaching.
There are four main reasons why we should not throw out the iOS baby with the bathwater. First, there are relatively few applications that are solely iOS-based now. The new ELLevate textbook, for example, will be accessible via Blackboard Learn, no apps, and no codes with which to struggle during Week 1. Teachers could therefore still teach via their iPads.
Another reason that came to me a few weeks ago is that if one needs to leave one’s laptop for servicing, the iPad would still be there to teach with (Remember, classroom computers will be taken out in the near future, so what to do if one’s work laptop is down?). Having your iPad would save the day!
Additionally, many of the others apps that teachers once used on iPads are web-based, too. Kahoot!, Socrative, Quizizz, Nearpod (et al) can all be accessed regardless of one’s device. Again, if one’s laptop is out of service, iPads are there.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, now as much as six years ago, using the iPad as an instructional tool basically “cuts the cord” that once tied the teacher to the front of the room. For teaching, or to answer a student’s question with a web search, the teacher once had to stay in front or lose time returning to the front of the room to do this, all the while trying to monitor and assist students. Use of the iPad to teach would allow the teacher to continue to move about freely, able to monitor students’ progress, assist with any queries and even do a quick Google search (and project it for all to see). Surely this alone is reason enough for teachers to wish to keep iPads in their arsenal.
To conclude, changing to laptops will save students a lot of money. Instead of having to buy an iPad, and then 6-12 months later a laptop, they can just buy a laptop which will most suit them for their future studies. For teachers, though, current educational technology makes it possible, in most cases, to use either device with ease. As the iPad said to the laptop, “I’m not dead yet.”