Sunday, February 16, 2014

Students and iPads

I have been deliberating the pros and cons of using iPads in the flipped class.  I personally, would like a device that allow students to create output much more easily.  I do like the portability and ease of use of the iPads.  However, I do not like all of the apps that students had at their fingertips that had NOTHING to do with what their task was that day.

So, as I was perusing my Facebook newsfeed this afternoon I stumbled upon this article.  The writer of the article went to a school where students and teachers use iPads for all instruction- regardless if the class is traditional or flipped.  The article asked students what they liked and did not like about using iPads in class.  Some things the students liked was the fact that they could submit papers electronically and had no text or notes to keep up with.   One issue that students did not like was I.T. support to help with downloading of apps.  I personally like that that stop gap because my students were mesmerized by the stacks and stacks of apps they had on the iPads (as I mentioned above).

So, that begs the question: what does the best device look like?  What are our options?  I have had a class this year that has used a Chromebook.  I blogged about it at earlier: click here to read the post.  I like a few things about the Chromebook.  First, I like that you can create output with it since it has a full keyboard and apps to word process (although it is not MSWord).  I like that it has a USB drive for flash drive use as well.  I do not like how fragile they are though.  We have had a handful of broken Chromebooks this school year in that one class.

Okay- what about a full blown laptop computer?  Maybe, but the cost would be prohibitive for students to have one each.  The creation and saving ability would be nice on a computer.

Someone has mentioned to me that student should bring their own device.  I don't know how I feel about that, especially when the students have their own phone out.  I see texting, Snap Chatting and unapproved recording nightmares.  But maybe not- I am a worrier.  The benefit would be students provide their own device so there is no cost to the school.  However, if all a student has is a smart phone, those are small screens and creation of output would be minimal.  Additionally, not all students have a smartphone, Kindle, Nook or iPad.  I would need something for those students to use.

So, the eternal question of a flipping teacher goes on..what device to use?

Happy Teaching!


  1. I think that the chrome book or the ipad is the best choice in this case. But I think there should be some limitations on it. For example, if a student abuses either the device or the apps that are available on the item, they receive a penalty of not being allowed to use it and having to resort to a paper copy. There can be a level of offense policy - 1st offense, one lesson, 2nd offense, 1 week, 3rd offense and so on. Having the students understand it is a privilege might assist with them actually respecting the rules surrounding the equipment. Just a thought. :)

  2. I agree about the app abuse. Part of the problem was they came from the county and had a ton of apps. There were probably 10 homepages full of apps. I would think if it were controlled by the teacher it would be easier to manage. Thank you for reading and posting!