The ability to write is at the heart of primary, secondary and higher. Children need to be encouraged to write a lot to learn, whether taking notes, writing homework, reports, data manipulation, writings invention or dissertations. Keyboards touchscreens are uncomfortable with high error rates and how to save, network or print is tortuous.
Interestingly, by providing a device so hostile to the creation of writing, you can switch the desire to write for beginning students. Answer this by saying that it is possible to buy keyboards for tablets is to admit defeat. It is told that the tablets do not work unless you turn on the computer. What additional costs?
The tablets are made to consume content; computers (laptops) allow the creation of content. It is not because things are beautiful on the iPad they are easy to make with its creation tools in most areas of art and design are very different dissemination tools. Try using Photoshop, Illustrator or 3D Studio on a tablet.
Try to make a selection pixel by pixel, to use layers to make precise adjustments. The screen is just not big enough for this kind of work. It is a device that is held in the hand, not a tool.
The shelves are rare in the world of work where writing is still needed. The keyboard skills and expertise on other devices you may need in real life are unlikely to be gained from the iPad.
3. IT, ICT
Whatever the purpose of learning the computer, programming or information technology at school, I do not think the iPad or tablets are appropriate. Learning to manipulate a spreadsheet on an iPad is painful. Want to learn to program with, ridiculous. What sane person would want to use a touch interface to the program, which involves a lot of detailed records, deleting, adding lines, as well as in a more open environment?
4. A consumer device, not learning
Above all, iPad is a consumer tool, is to read and not to write. It has a role to play in learning, particularly at the pre – school level for toddlers, but beyond that, there is no serious argument to justify large-scale investment in this kind of material.
The best proof is that when students or students equip themselves with computers, they do not buy tablets. They buy desktop computers, netbooks or laptops.
5. Inadequacy with the needs of teachers
There is the example of a school that had traded his laptop against the shelves, and who now wants to back down. “The staff room laments,” because the educational problems are obvious. From a technical perspective, teachers have experienced it as a nightmare.
Most teachers and teaching materials they use are based on Word and PowerPoint, and use of tablets resulted in incompatibility. Some teachers have had to host their content outside of the institution, which has posed problems of access to resources. Without true knowledge of software and the needs of teachers, there is no added value for learners.
6. The high price
The iPad is expensive to buy and maintain, and are complicated to implement in terms of network and peripherals. They are designed to be used at home and not in school, in laboratories or classrooms. So there is a real question about the strength of the technology in school and in the pages of students, where these are abused, fall and are scratched. Worse, 20% of those who have been sent for repair are in their second or third return to service. Although he was asked to parents € 50 per shelf, the latter actually cost € 450 and students do not seem to take special care of something they did not buy. The final cost, when added repairs, is still higher than expected.
7. Vainglorious projects
A person very knowledgeable, having attended a meeting at the highest levels of government that has decided to introduce the tablet at school told me that it was painful and messy. Tablets, data by a computer company, were delivered well in school, where the head of the institution hid the other teachers. This is exactly how NOT to introduce new technologies in schools: buy fashionable devices in large quantities, distributed in beautiful boxes and hope that all will be well.
This is the danger with these projects based on tablets, we rarely rely on extensive analysis to select the most appropriate technology, and we tend to rely on the fact that Apple is fashionable or advise fans of this brand. We must avoid as everyone and implement pretentious projects presuppose that what is cool for adult consumers will be cool for school.
I have spent my entire adult life to encourage technology adoption in education but I want to be sure we are not shooting itself in the foot with projects that have not taken into account seven points above.
To be honest, I’m not at all sure of the merits of a technology imposed on classrooms. Let the teachers teach and if you bring this stuff, rather book a good share of the budget to train.
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