Students at Roslyn High School on Long Island received iPads this year, not by their parents for Christmas, but by their teachers. As part of a pilot program, the school provides iPads to teach history through “Jeopardy”- like games and complex math problems with step-by-step animation.
Larry Reiff, an English teacher at Roslyn, said, “It allows us to extend the classroom beyond these four walls.”
Roslyn High is not the only school to use tablet computers. Schools across the nation are jumping on this technological bandwagon.
However, using technology to inspire students to learn is not a new idea, and parents and scholars alike question whether or not a tablet computer helps students learn faster.
“There is very little evidence that kids learn more, faster or better by using these machines,” said Larry Cuban, a professor emeritus of education at Stanford University. “iPads are marvelous tools to engage kids, but then the novelty wears off and you get into hard-core issues of teaching and learning.”
With iPads costing $750, and at a time when schools are trying approve budgets so they don’t have layoff teachers or cut programs, Cuban said that the budget would be better used to recruit, train and keep the teachers that they have.
School officials at Roslyn disagree. They believe a tablet computer is more than just a fun way to learn. The iPad has a plethora of applications with thousands of learning tools.
“I think this could very well be the biggest thing to hit school technology since the overhead projector,” said Scott Wolfe, the principal at Roslyn.
Public schools in New York City have ordered 2,000 iPads totaling $1.3 million. At the same time, over 200 Chicago public schools have applied for district-finance grants to purchase $450,000 worth of iPads.
Via The New York Times
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