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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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    #165801 - 08/28/13 03:26 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: ultramarina]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    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.


    I really do think it's helped my dd improve her spelling tremendously. Really do. There are (I think) different ways that people learn, including learning spelling. I love to read and spelling comes easily to me, so I think I picked up my spelling skills from reading and I'm good at spelling. My dd, otoh, loves to write - she's really *really* good at composing stories and her writing is full of beautiful imagery and creative thinking. She also loves loves LOVES to read. Yet she is not by nature a good speller - it takes her work. As she's spent time writing using the keyboard and spell check and word prediction her ability to spell well (even when she's using handwriting) has improved dramatically. It's not due to studying for spelling tests either - her spelling has improved across the board, on words she's never had for spelling tests. I proof-read her papers for her when she's finished to check her spelling and grammar (at her request), and so I've watched it evolve. It's really kind of cool.

    I've talked to both my dd and my dysgraphic ds about this, and they both feel that spell-check and word prediction have helped them become better at spelling.

    Dysgraphic kids like my ds can sometimes memorize spelling words for spelling tests and do really well - my ds routinely aced all of his spelling tests, but he didn't retain memory of what he studied for spelling tests once the week was past (note - this is not the same for all dysgraphic people). Dysgraphia is basically a challenge with developing automaticity - dysgraphic people need to repeat repeat repeat and repeat again to learn skills that take neurotypical kids very little repetition to become automatic. This shows up most often in handwriting, but that challenge with needing to repeat repeat repeat because of lack of automaticity can show up in other areas like spelling. And that's what spell check and word prediction gives my ds - he sees the words spelled correctly more often and over a much longer extended period of time than with a spelling test - and as he's worked with the tools over the years, I've seen that his ability to spell is improving.

    Quote:
    Why learn to spell if the machine will do it for you?


    One reason to learn to spell is that if you can't spell *close* enough to the word you want to write, the machine will not recognize it. That's a problem for some dysgraphic kids. Another reason to learn to spell is to be able to spell correctly when you handwrite a personal note or leave a handwritten sticky note for someone else to read. Another reason to learn to spell is to increase reading fluency and comprehension. I'm guessing there are quite a few more reasons too.

    I don't know if spelling skills are in decline in general - I am a good speller surrounded in my household by people (adults and kids) who can't spell - but I can't blame that on computers, it's genetics as far as I can tell with my kids and dh smile

    polarbear

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    #165817 - 08/28/13 07:18 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Irena]
    RobotMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/25/09
    Posts: 604
    Loc: in a happier place
    Originally Posted By: Irena

    As a mother of a very bright boy with physical and neurological limitations to his ability to physically write it saddens me and downright frightens me, to hear a teacher say she absolutely refuses to consider ipads for the classroom frown


    I realized after I posted that I should have explained my position more. I am NOT opposed to the use of technology in my classroom - I teach STEM classes and use it a lot. I allow students to use technology of any kind in my room if it helps them learn. BUT the idea of a school buying ipads for kids instead of textbooks and believing that it is going to increase test scores and make teachers better teachers is what I oppose. In my experience, when a school is pushing for ipads over textbooks or any technology over training teachers to be better teachers it is a bad idea and only results in more bad teaching going on.
    I am sorry I wasn't clear in my original post. A big problem in education is the idea that technology alone will "cure" schools' woes and administrators, as well as companies push stuff onto teachers who have too much on their plates already and who could really benefit more from teacher training than from another gadget to figure out how to handle.

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