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Monday, December 2, 2013

Are iPads in the Classroom Doing More Harm Than Good?



More and more schools are handing out tablets, such as iPads to students to help improve the learning process in today's age where technology is king. However, is this expensive new learning aid truly helpful in the educational setting? Recently, Los Angeles distributed iPads to 50,000 students in the public school system as part of a pilot for a $1 billion citywide initiative. The L.A. Unified School District expressed financial concern over the $1-billion plan to give an iPad to every Los Angeles student and teacher. According to the district, the tablet plan could prove to be difficult to provide due to finances after about three years based on their calculations.

Aside from financial concerns, there is also concern that the tablets may be misused as more than just a learning tool. In another recent article, the same Los Angeles school system found that high school students were quickly and easily able to "hack" the district-installed security filter, allowing them to access banned websites such as Facebook and YouTube.

While the idea behind integrating technology into the educational process sounds good, the reality is that these tablets can do more harm than good. These tablets allow students to become distracted during class time and concentrating more so on the technology provided to them than the subject matter at hand and could therefore, hinder the learning process.

While some believe that the tablets offer a positive impact on teachers and students, there are still many parents and tax-payers that oppose tablets in school districts, saying that the large sum of money should be spent on other upgrades rather than iPads; more teachers, new school furniture, and updated computer labs were among the many improvements needed on the list.

Do you believe that tablets in the educational setting are doing more harm than good? Should the money spent on tablets be better spent elsewhere?

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2 Comments:

At February 2, 2014 at 2:13 PM , Blogger Teresa said...

I think buying an iPad for every student in a district is inefficient use of funds. That said, my daughter has access to a classroom set of iPads in her 5th grade class. They were paid for by parent donations and PTA fundraisers. The students are benefiting from the iPads in many ways. They use them to collaborate as part of writing and research reports. It's all about how well the teachers implement their use. It's also important to consider that having a scarcity of iPads, thus having to share them, helps them to be used only when there is a plan for their use and not for messing around when the teacher is lecturing.

 
At February 5, 2014 at 10:35 AM , Blogger A.L. Napier said...

Tech is out there whether we like it or not. The flip side is after the initial shock, students learn to live with the distraction. Isn't that what happened to most of us as freshmen in college? Well, OK… maybe not you perfect ones!

 

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