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    Joined: Aug 2010
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    My DS 7 used the class iPad and a keyboard in 1st to learn typing and then to help alleviate his output problems with writing. It's been wonderful, for all those parents needing accommodations for their dysgraphic kids, I would say the iPad has been an effective one. He still writes and practices writing but when he has to write something longer he doesn't get held up by it being painful or tiring. Even hunting and pecking as he was doing before he got going on the typing program, he had much greater writing stamina by typing on the iPad than writing. He will be competent in typing well before the time the school really teaches it and it then becomes a viable option for standardized tests. For K and 1st the rest of the class used it as extras as they use several Ed apps as part of choice time so kids are playing math and reading games. In his classroom it's just another tool to access learning. And the kids love learning math via app math games rather than mad minutes or the traditional route even if what it's doing is exactly the same.

    DeHe

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    My DD uses a tablet for a lot of things-- but it very definitely hasn't improved her typing.

    She greatly prefers the tactile keyboard of a laptop for touch-typing.



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    The keyboards that the iPads attach to are pretty equivalent to a laptop. And in DS's case the act of learning to use each finger is actually OT as well, so a bit of a win win.

    But I don't know anyone who types well on a screen!

    DeHe

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    Ahhh-- yes, an external keyboard. THAT makes more sense to me.


    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    The kids at ds' school mostly use bluetooth keyboards, and the school keeps a few extra in the classroom in case anyone needs one that doesn't have one (or forgets where they left it...)... I dunno, some of the kids type pretty danged fast on the screen - they don't use conventional touch typing, they develop their own adaptive keyboarding methods that are probably different for each kid. Touch typing isn't taught at any time in school, yet the kids are mostly very proficient at typing already by the time they reach 7th grade... possibly due to earlier obsessions with Minecraft etc....

    DS is also much better at dealing with the auto-correct on the iPad than I will ever be laugh

    polarbear

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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    polarbear, I'm wondering-- which textbooks become outdated quickly?

    In social studies, I can certainly see how this is a problem, and also in technology related coursework.

    But in most math, literature, science, etc. classes, I guess I just don't see this as a problem of any kind. The rate of change there is VERY low, at least up to the undergraduate collegiate level.

    HK, my parents were teachers (many eons ago) and I have quite a few friends who are teachers in our local public schools. While the info in some textbooks might not be out-of-date, there are other issues and the lifespan of textbooks is considered to be much shorter than the lifespan of information contained within most smile Firs there is the issue of wear and tear - textbooks really don't last forever. And it's not just an issue of information becoming outdated and incorrect (which is the issue with social studies), but there is the issue of new information becoming available - which happens all the time in science. Curriculum philosophy can change too. You would think math wouldn't change... but the math textbooks my ds has had are very different than the textbooks I had when I was in school. The concept application examples are from *his* real world, not the world I grew up in or Euclid lived in. I wouldn't need that to learn and understand math, and I'm fairly certain ds doesn't, but for my dd who struggles with math concepts and for kids who are "checked out" when it comes to middle school and high school math, I think it will help. Calculators are very different now, with a lot more functionality, and there are problems contained in the textbook specifically designed to be worked out on calculators. Technology is always moving forward and usually at a fast pace; while the basic math concepts aren't changing, but as our toolbox changes, the way we carry out calculations changes, and our ability to do more complicated calculations and manipulate larger amounts of data changes.

    What I see most though in our kids' school is the impact on literature - they read a *lot* of books, good books. Some are classics, but many are newerish-to-brand new books that are incorporated with social studies, geography etc. The books ds read most recently for school were published in 2004 and 2012. I'd say more than half of the books he read last year assigned by school for project work and literature study were recent publications - and they were great books. Having current fiction and non-fiction brought a lot of interest and meaning into class discussions that the kids identified with.

    I suspect there can be issues with storage space in classrooms and also with accidental loss as well as damage to textbooks that can be avoided by using online books.

    FWIW, I don't see our district ever supplying iPads to all students across the board - the trend in our district (at the moment) appears to be BYOD - or at least that's the "in" thing at the moment smile

    polarbear

    Last edited by polarbear; 08/27/13 04:34 PM.
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    Having read 1984 as a kid I object to electronic books on pure principle.

    I have seen how revisionism has infected History and how it has become not quite as 'required' to challenge authority now that extreme PC is the authority So I don't doubt that texts would mutate at authoritative will were it not for the anchor that hard copy provides.

    Last edited by madeinuk; 08/27/13 05:22 PM.

    Become what you are
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    As a teacher I refused to get IPADS in my classroom for a number of reasons, many noted in other people's comments above. Along with one that I wish I could quote, but I have forgotten the study author. I read a study a few years ago talking about how schools are failing kids and why the latest increase in technology in classrooms, especially elementary classrooms is actually hurting our schools more than it is helping. Basically it was saying that when we use an electronic devise for writing, or doing math, or even reading our brains are less actively involved in the process. 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. This same effect was there when students were reading books on an electronic devise rather than holding a book in their hands.
    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.

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    Originally Posted by Kerry
    Basically it was saying that when we use an electronic devise for writing, or doing math, or even reading our brains are less actively involved in the process.

    I basically agree with this, or did until I had a child for whom handwriting is painful and difficult. Now, we're looking at typing as a very real solution to a serious problem. Having teachers who are open to tech in the classroom is very helpful for us.

    I will also say that DS's first grade teacher did marvelous projects with school-owned iPads. The kids used them for oral history recordings at the nursing home, then wrote about the oral history (pencil-paper writing), then used an app that let them turn the oral history material into a kind of puppet-show dialogue about past and present that they took back to the nursing home to show the residents. The kids also did some teaching to help the residents learn to use the iPads. It was premised on human engagement, not the technology itself, but the technology added some nice aspects to it all.

    I don't think any technology is particularly good or bad -- but how it's used is very important. Bad teaching will not be fixed by technology, and may be made worse by it.

    DeeDee

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    Originally Posted by Kerry
    As a teacher I refused to get IPADS in my classroom for a number of reasons, many noted in other people's comments above. Along with one that I wish I could quote, but I have forgotten the study author. I read a study a few years ago talking about how schools are failing kids and why the latest increase in technology in classrooms, especially elementary classrooms is actually hurting our schools more than it is helping. Basically it was saying that when we use an electronic devise for writing, or doing math, or even reading our brains are less actively involved in the process. 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. This same effect was there when students were reading books on an electronic devise rather than holding a book in their hands.


    There is this: http://www.futurity.org/for-kids-pens-mightier-than-keyboard/ probably referring to this: http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/transcription-mode-study-LDQ.pdf that seems to match what you say, but the methodology seems (as reported) doesn't seem (? skimmed on my phone) to address the issue of handwriting vs. keyboarding instruction in their subject population, which seems like a big hole in methodology.

    Most of the pro writers I know don't write long-hand, not even the ones who grew up before typing was commonly taught in school. So I am a bit skeptical about the conclusions...

    Even though as somebody works in tech I usually roll my eyes at the hype around tech and education. If you can't reach kids without an iPad you won't get much farther with one.

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