10 Ways the iPad Will Forever Change Education

by Laura Milligan

The iPad is still a novelty in the tech world and especially in education, where it’s being used experimentally as a content delivery and even as a content creation tool. If you’re an online college student, you’re already familiar with many digital tools and applications that help you connect to the greater academic community and your fellow online students, but the iPad may herald the future of the “tablet classroom,” even for elementary-aged students. Keep reading for 10 ways that the iPad will forever change education.

  1. Students will have automatically updated information: If classrooms are able to supply every student with an iPad, then textbooks wouldn’t be needed again. Instead of waiting for the school district’s budget to increase so that they can get new textbooks, teachers will be able to facilitate up-to-the-minute information, research, multimedia, and news stories for each lesson, via the iPad, instead of using outdated printed books. E-textbooks are being developed for higher education now, and more sophisticated versions for all levels of students are expected to be released in the future.
  2. It promotes active, engaging learning: Parentdish.com explains that other e-readers like the Amazon Kindle are static, but the iPad is interactive and cooperates with apps that integrate music, video and other media and experiences into reading and learning, which in the past have been traditionally passive in nature. With certain apps, Internet access and other tools, students can instantly apply their lessons to real-world problems, giving their learning experiences more depth while improving critical thinking and decision-making skills at an early age.
  3. iPads may foster customized learning: Customized learning programs and hybrid education programs — in which some of the teaching is conducted online, even in secondary and primary schools — are gaining traction in some schools around the country, and the iPad is a logical asset to these experimental, progressive systems. Edutopia’s Bob Lenz believes that the potential exists for teacher-designed applications and programs that will offer students customized lesson plans and annotated e-textbooks. Students of all types — from graduate-level biology students to students at online colleges for human resources — will also have the opportunity to create their own blogs, research and even e-books with the tools and access provided by the iPad.
  4. Budget-friendly equals more access: The price of iPads haven’t yet leveled off, but they’re still more economical than the kind of laptops that have competitive web access and applications. Some analysts believe that schools would be more likely to purchase iPads than laptops for students, giving more students access to digital learning tools and new technology. Furthermore, if students can keep the same iPad for several years — or even trade it in for new updates every so often — it is far cheaper than purchasing a whole new set of textbooks for each child from kindergarten through 12th grade. Students can learn more about these new educational resources at online colleges for library science.
  5. It offers a range of tools without multitasking options: This feature is considered a major plus for some iPad users and a huge downfall for other tech lovers. While other tools, including basic laptops, allow for multitasking applications and the ability to run more than one application at once, the iPad’s simplicity is actually ideal for classroom learning. Students can read all the content their teachers want them to access, but without the distractions. That means that kids can’t play games while pretending to follow along with the lesson, and teachers still have control over the classroom.
  6. They bring mobility to education: We expect kids to lug home back-breaking loads of textbooks to do their homework, but wouldn’t it be easier for them if they only had to carry around an iPad? Besides being physically ightweight, the iPad’s mobility means that kids can work on homework and projects from anywhere, at any time. They’re constantly tuned into learning — every teacher’s dream.
  7. Content delivery is being revolutionized: Students now have virtually unlimited opportunities for receiving educational content. Beyond static textbooks or even PowerPoint presentations, developers are experimenting with multimedia games, e-books, databases and other platforms for creating and delivering content for learning. Students looking to join this revolution might be interested in online colleges for web design.
  8. It encourages social interaction during learning: This feature is especially encouraging for distance learners who study independently, such as students at online colleges for meteorology or billing and coding. An article from the University of Texas’ Continuing and Innovative Education blog points out that “as ideas or questions occur to a student while reading an online textbook, he or she can immediately share them with other students through a class’s social networking group page.” Additionally, students have instant access to reference tools and multimedia support to help them understand what they’re reading, even if they’re away from their laptops. Developing these skills can even lead to further studies at online colleges for online marketing.
  9. iPads can boost productivity and organization: With apps from Blackboard and other education content organizers, iti will be easier for students to contact teachers, keep track of schedules and deadlines, and even find their assignments and task lists.
  10. They open students up to a global learning community: iPads continue the tech trend of opening users up to the rest of the world. Even young students will be able to communicate with kids from around the world, learn from teachers at other schools, and collaborate on projects and participate in discussions within the greater, global academic community. As a starting point, though, students can browse online colleges by location for inspiration.

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