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    #165767 - 08/28/13 12:12 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: RobotMom]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: Kerry
    When we write, for example, our brain has to be actively involved in the process because it has to not only hold the pen it also has to move it in the correct direction over and over again while another part of the brain is remembering what to write. Granted, this takes a very short amount of time, however, it is still there none the less. However, when we are simply typing keys on a computer that section of the brain that controls the hand/arm muscles is not activated and therefore a large part of the connections that the brain makes about information are no longer being made.


    Kerry, I'm a mom of a dysgraphic student, and fwiw, I didn't take your comment in quite the same way the other 2e moms who replied to you did - I made the assumption that you weren't talking about children with disabilities in what you wrote. That said, I am curious about what grade you teach, and are you specifically talking about handwriting rather than written expression? I just personally can't see how this applies once a child is old enough that the act of handwriting has become automatic for them - and 99.9% of the teachers I've known through my kids' education have no concerns about this. Personally I find typing to be very freeing when I write - I can compose so much more quickly when I type than when I write that my ideas flow much more freely. And I'm *not* dysgraphic in the slightest. My kids' schools let the kids compose their stories, project work etc on the computer and there is a ton of creativity going on in those compositions. I also, honestly, feel that spell-check and word-prediction have helped my non-2e child improve her spelling tremendously.

    I mentioned 99.9% of teachers above - there is one late-elementary teacher I've met who refuses to let her children write on the computers at school and she's adamant about it. She firmly believes that all students should develop beautiful and fluent handwriting before they ever use a computer. When I heard her state her opinions the first time - the first thought that flew through my head was thank goodness my dysgraphic ds didn't land in her class lol - but when I thought through it more, I just don't get it. Our kids are growing up in a world where people type, not a world where people rely on handwriting. So I don't really understand why teachers wouldn't be willing to let their students use computers for composition, unless we're talking about early elementary students who are still learning how to form letters etc. Even then, there are apps for that....

    Quote:
    I have seen this in kids a lot - add to this that they see an electronic devise as a toy and not an educational devise you increase the likely hood of more time being spent on playing rather than on doing their school work.


    I've also seen children in classrooms goofing off when there were no computers around. As well as studious students doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing. I don't think the issue is the medium that is being used for learning, it's the makeup of the people in the classroom - the personalities of the children and the way the teacher deals with those diverse personalities. Electronics can be managed, just as kids who are jumping off bookshelves can be managed.

    polarbear

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    #165771 - 08/28/13 12:23 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2638
    Loc: MA
    Somewhat off-topic, but I'd like to mention that a new product, Parallels Access, allows an iPad to run programs on a PC remotely http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/techno...e-computer.html .
    This will make the iPad more versatile.

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    #165772 - 08/28/13 12:31 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Quote:
    I also, honestly, feel that spell-check and word-prediction have helped my non-2e child improve her spelling tremendously.


    Do you think so? I'm not trying to be snarky. It just seems like the skill of spelling is in perpetual decline, which I suppose I would partly attribute to spell-check and word prediction. Why learn to spell if the machine will do it for you?

    I wonder if anyone has studied this.

    BTW, I don't think spelling is the world's most important skill. Being able to write clearly (which is also a skill that is in decline) is far more important. I can definitely see how being able to dictate could help 2E students enormously with this.

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    #165774 - 08/28/13 12:36 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Dude, I don't know. I work with PDFs every single day and I kind of hate them. I've never encountered a large document that I wouldn't rather have in paper form.

    On the other hand, I don't print and reread my written work before submitting it--my brain doesn't feel the need for it. Many people who are older than I am still do that.

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    #165775 - 08/28/13 12:37 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Well, okay. I guess I'd probably rather have a paginated PDF with bookmarks than an 1800-page unpaginated paper version. wink

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    #165779 - 08/28/13 01:25 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: ultramarina]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    Quote:
    With textbooks, one tends to move back and forth through the pages, referring to different sections, which is why I don't like digital textbooks.


    This. DD isn't allowed to bring home any textbooks, but we can refer to her math book as an online text. It's a clunky interface, which doesn't help, but for me online textbooks are just a drag. It's the same reason I don't buy ebook versions of cookbooks or reference books. I want to flippy flippy fasty fasty. I don't know--maybe the interface just needs to get better, but I can't be the only one who prefers the physicality of a book in these situations? DD didn't like the digital book, either, for all that she is supposed to be a digital native or whatever.

    I do love my ereader, mind.



    This. Exactly this.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #165787 - 08/28/13 02:22 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    It appears that this is what brought the subject up - LAUSD launches its drive to equip every student with iPads

    Let's see how they're going about it.

    Quote:
    For Broadacres, in Carson, the tablets were an exhilarating upgrade for a campus that had no wireless Internet and few working computers. Technology was only marginally better at Cimarron, in Hawthorne, where the computer lab couldn't accommodate an entire class.


    Nice. It's a cost-effective way to bring the benefits of technology to a place that didn't have it. Given that the single largest repository of knowledge in human history is accessed via computer, this sounds like a solid win.

    Quote:
    "This is going to level the playing field as far as what schools are doing throughout the district," said Principal Cynthia M. Williams of Cimarron, where 70% of students are from low-income families.


    Ah, yes, the digital divide closes. Another win.

    Quote:
    "If they have a burning question and I don't have an answer, now they can Google. It's literally going to bring the world into the classroom, but positively."


    Absolutely.

    Quote:
    DeCoursey had three days of training on both the iPad and the state's new learning standards, which she's supposed to teach with the devices.


    Three days? On the device AND the state's new standards? So how much time was spent specifically on getting educational value from the iPad? This doesn't sound good.

    Quote:
    "Having an iPad for personal use is not the same as using it to instruct students," Martinez said. "Before you put any kind of technology into the hands of students, the teachers have to be fully trained and capable of using it to teach."


    Indeed.

    Quote:
    The district is paying $678 per device — higher than tablets cost in stores — with pre-loaded educational software that has been only partially developed. The tablets come with tracking software, a sturdy case and a three-year warranty.


    Wait... they're buying in bulk, and still paying more than retail?? The software is only partially developed??

    This sounds like a future case study for how technology implementations go wrong. On the plus side, the district will have 25 years to regret it.


    Edited by Dude (08/28/13 02:24 PM)
    Edit Reason: makey linkey

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    #165789 - 08/28/13 02:41 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: master of none]
    DeHe Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/07/10
    Posts: 735
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    Quote:
    I also, honestly, feel that spell-check and word-prediction have helped my non-2e child improve her spelling tremendously.


    Do you think so? I'm not trying to be snarky. It just seems like the skill of spelling is in perpetual decline, which I suppose I would partly attribute to spell-check and word prediction. Why learn to spell if the machine will do it for you?



    Some of our 2E kids need a lot of feedback and repetition to acquire skills like spelling that are not learned the typical ways. So, my DS definitely is learning spelling each time spell check corrects him. And he is learning how to spell things close enough for spell check to help him out. I believe that without spell check, he would just keep typing things incorrectly, getting those habits ingrained. With spell check, he is called on to correct the spelling each and every time.


    My DS spells perfectly when doing it verbally. Ask him to write the same word a minute later and suddenly half the vowels are gone. Writing is not teaching him to spell the same way kids without his issues are learning it. So when he goes to write a story or an answer to a question there is extra effort that goes into spelling correctly that takes away from his writing - this doesn't seem to happen when typing - even if typing takes him as long. I'm with polarbear, DS is being helped to learn by a tool which allows him to express himself appropriately. My DS is gradually getting to be a better speller - but I couldn't tell you why or when words just stick - but ifhe is excited or wants to get his ideas out all that goes out the window - the act of writing is interfering.

    DeHe

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    #165796 - 08/28/13 03:03 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Dude]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: Dude

    [quote]The district is paying $678 per device — higher than tablets cost in stores — with pre-loaded educational software that has been only partially developed. The tablets come with tracking software, a sturdy case and a three-year warranty.


    This doesn't make sense to me at all - that sounds like an outrageous amount of $ to be paying. I wonder what the educational software is that they're paying for? Also wonder if part of the $ is some sort of outrageous insurance/replacement deal?

    Our middle school students have to purchase Pages and Keynote, and I don't think either one cost more than $20, if that. Everything else they've used (and they've done quite a bit of cool things on their iPads)... has been through *free* apps. There are a few apps I've purchased for my dysgraphic ds, but none cost over $10, most were under $5.

    polarbear

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    #165798 - 08/28/13 03:16 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    As well as typing helping my spelling spell check absolutely has too, for the reasons already stated. I suspect I would have helped more if I'd started typing before uni, or live spell check before work life...

    Schools that use 1:1 Pads here are all high end privates, as far as I am aware they're just buying iPads the way they buy other computers and setting them up themselves. The packages mentioned above sound crazy!

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