Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Getting, S. & Swainey, K. (2012, August). First graders with ipads?. Learning and Leading with Technology, 40(1), 24-26. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/learning-and-leading/DigitalEdition/digital-edition-june-july-2012.aspx
Summary: Two teachers embark on the challenge of integrating iPads in a first grade classroom with at risk students. They use the iPads in an attempt to increase reading achievement. To their surprise, the students responded especially well to the iPads. They let students know the seriousness of respecting the expensive tool, and for the most part they were compliant. Besides that, they found that the students Time on Task (ToT) increased greatly while using the devices. In addition, the students reading achievement increased in several areas. The two teachers discovered apps for sight words, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary and literacy. Lastly, the teachers noticed that it facilitated friendly collaboration between students. Those students who were new to the iPad training did not even require extra attention from the teacher, as the students jumped right in to help them through an introduction to the device.
Q1: Did the teachers experience any technical difficulties with the iPads?
A1: Yes, the teachers admitted that they experienced problems with all of the devices syncing properly. In addition, they were not able to use the VGA cord with any success, instead they had to use the document cameras when they needed to show something to the whole class. Also, a known problem with iPads is their non compatibility with Adobe Flash. Because of this, there were not able to access several websites.
Q2: Was the integration of iPads overall successful? Was there data to prove its success?
A2: According to Getting and Swainey, yes, the use of iPads with the first graders was a successful project. They noticed that students were able to collaborate more. In addition, they noticed over 20 moves upward (out of 26 students) in reading achievement. Their opinion is that the tools create a environment that meshes well with the learning styles of the youngest digital natives. They say that iPads truly make a difference in sight word recognition, fluency, word comprehension, and vocabulary recognition and meaning.