There are places where the teachers and the schools struggle to get the literacy levels to what you would call good. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as poor neighbourhoods, parents not caring too much, lack of money leading parents to not have time for their children. Some schools will maybe only reach a literary level of 62% of what it is supposed to be due to the social and environmental concerns of an area.
What we are seeing now is that far sighted individuals within some school districts are noticing that young children are motivated by technology. School district advisers are recognising the fact that kids will respond to using things like the amazing iPad where they might just turn their noses up to other forms of learning. There is a certain amount of excitement in the adults to pick up iPads for themselves and be amazed at what you can do with one. This amazment and wonder is being transmitted, passed on to the kindergarten children and also to the teachers in the schools.
Just as an example - It was seen in a school that one child was struggling to learn the alphabet. The teacher handed him an iPad which had an application designed for learning letters and sounds. Within a couple of weeks the boy knew more than 12 letters and inside eight weeks, he knew all of them. Problem solved, and the lad was able to go back into the class and keep up with his peers and the usual grade level work.
Many of the middle schools in some districts were already handing out laptops to students. It led to kids, especially boys becoming engaged in their school work where previously they were not bothered. For teachers that are not getting through to the child that is having difficulty, then finding a tool like the iPad to use, it is a revelation. No excuse for the child to be saying “I’m bored” when all it really means is that they are a lazy little so and so that won’t do the work.
Apple the maker of the most popular and useful of the tablet computers know that the iPad can be used constructively in classrooms, will hand out demo iPads for school committee members and teachers to try. We all know how to point and touch things with the finger. so no surprise them to have the smiles within minutes, appear on the faces of the most ardent luddites, when seeing how these things work. With the iPad two there is now th facility to connect an iPad to a large TV to demonstrate how to do things. You can also get video onto the iPad.
Without a doubt, this use of tablet computers within schools is a game changer. It levels the playing field for all students, when schools can get the iPads into the hands of students that otherwise would not have the chance. Apart from closing the gap between those that are disadvantaged in life and the other students, it also allows acceleration of learning for others. You have got to see a bunch of five year olds laughing and enjoying working and learning by using a tablet computer to believe it.