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    Joined: Apr 2011
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    I am really uncomfortable with the arguments about not switching on the right parts of the brain, or remembering as much/ learning as well, when typing instead of writing. Certainly for me typing significantly improved my spelling as I actually developed motor memory for typed spelling, I can feel when it's wrong, no such benefit from handwriting, in fact my spelling declines quite markedly in handwriting (it's never good mind).

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    I am also amused that our iPad/iPods were one of the key tools in the drstix improvement of my DDs handwriting over the last year. An interactive tool that demonstrates and checks for correct directionality and formation of letters is something that's very hard to do with a class full of kids - just because a child's handwriting is completed and neat doesn't mean it was formed correctly. A tablet is nice tool for working on this step of the handwriting process.

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    Originally Posted by MumOfThree
    I am really uncomfortable with the arguments about not switching on the right parts of the brain, or remembering as much/ learning as well, when typing instead of writing. Certainly for me typing significantly improved my spelling as I actually developed motor memory for typed spelling, I can feel when it's wrong, no such benefit from handwriting, in fact my spelling declines quite markedly in handwriting (it's never good mind).


    I think that with anything, we can find a study to prove it's bad. If only we'd had scientific theory and research when our ancestors started using fire for cooking! Can you imagine the papers about smoke inhalation, loss of gathering skills and obesity that would result from not traveling long distances in a migratory pattern?

    Technology, ANY technology, is always met with resistance. If using computers (or iPads) actually made it harder to be creative or write or active that part of the brain, people would stop using them. Our best authors wouldn't sit there frustrated with a lack of ideas just beating their heads on a keyboard, they'd pick up a quill pen and go back to work.

    This conversation reminds me of a Ted Talk we watched recently at a school staff development day. It talks about the use of texting language and how people, for literally hundreds of years, have been complaining that kids can't write properly. http://www.ted.com/talks/john_mcwhorter_txtng_is_killing_language_jk.html

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    Originally Posted by ultramarina
    Quote
    Does anyone walk around saying "I just refuse to have a telephone! It's ruining our kids/society/etc" ?

    To be contrary, I refuse to have a smartphone. wink

    LOL but I'd bet money you DO have a telephone (you know the old fashioned kind) of some sort! That's what they were laughing about on this program - how there was so much fear-mongering about how telephones (not smart phones, not iphones, not cell phones) were the cause of so much concern and controversy! Because it seems soooo silly to us now.

    There will always be people fearful of technology.... Shoot, there are millions of dollar made in movies and books tapping into that very fear of technology... I'm just glad my son's teachers so far are on the more progressive/less fearful side becasue technology is can be absolutely wonderful for people with disabilities, imo!

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    Technology that ASSISTS is great.

    I think that what a lot of people are objecting to is that this is-- for MOST students and most classrooms-- a solution in search of a problem... and an expensive solution, to boot... at a time when $$ is all too scarce in most districts.

    In my local district, for example, they spent a MILLION dollars this year on iPads. In a district that cannot afford to replace physical textbooks more than every 10 years, cannot afford a school nurse in each building, etc.

    THAT makes little sense to me.

    frown


    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Originally Posted by CAMom
    I think that with anything, we can find a study to prove it's bad.
    I like to dig up studies, but iPads are relatively new, and I wonder if the studies exist. I am not opposed to experimenting with them in schools, but they should be *experiments* done on a small scale with monitoring of results based on criteria specified beforehand. I am dubious of putting the entire student population of Los Angeles on iPads before doing such a study.

    Do anyone's children use EPGY on the iPad? I think the iPad could be a good platform for EPGY.



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    Originally Posted by Irena
    Originally Posted by master of none
    I'm willing to bet that the technology you grew up with is the technology you like

    Exactly. I recently heard a piece on the telephone on NPR... And how it was a technology that was considered evil by many in the beginning and many refused to use it... Now is it even a thought? Does anyone walk around saying "I just refuse to have a telephone! It's ruining our kids/society/etc" ?

    Well...TBH, this sounds a bit smug, and seems to be implying that anyone who questions the value of classroom iPads must be a curmudgeon who's afraid of new-fangled gadgets. I wasn't questioning the point of iPads or claiming that they ruin our kids. I was asking if what kind of additional educational value they provide, and if this value is worth multimillion dollar investments by school districts whose budget problems are serious enough that they lay off teachers.

    Some of the messages here have highlighted positive aspects of classroom iPads, which is great. But they mostly seemed to apply to 2E kids with similar problems. So these advantages may not apply to the general population. I see that all kids can do projects on an iPad, but they could do the same work on a laptop or desktop, which is cheaper, less likely to be dropped, and harder to steal. From what I see, people are far more likely to need skills on those devices in the workplace or even at college.

    If textbooks were available on IPads as PDFs, that might be a good thing. It would reduce the weight of a backpack. But if the textbooks were licensed annually, they would strike me more as a profit center, and I'd object to that idea.

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    For studies, I wonder what the iPad placebo would look like? Maybe a piece of cardboard spray painted? "We randomly assigned kids to one of two groups, in one group they received iPads, in the other grey pieces of cardboard. Kids in the iPad group were given SoftwareQ to use, kids in the placebo group had SoftwareQ written on their cardboard. In the post test, kids in the iPad group had a significantly higher appreciation for SoftwareQ (p>.0001) than the placebo group. Our conclusion is that everyone should buy SoftwareQ"

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    Val Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by Zen Scanner
    For studies, I wonder what the iPad placebo would look like? Maybe a piece of cardboard spray painted? "We randomly assigned kids to one of two groups, in one group they received iPads, in the other grey pieces of cardboard. Kids in the iPad group were given SoftwareQ to use, kids in the placebo group had SoftwareQ written on their cardboard. In the post test, kids in the iPad group had a significantly higher appreciation for SoftwareQ (p>.0001) than the placebo group. Our conclusion is that everyone should buy SoftwareQ"

    I'm thinking maybe compare learning outcomes in subject x (e.g. math) in groups of kids taught the same content. One group has iPads, one has boring old textbooks. If both groups have the books, one group doesn't have flashy iPad software. wink

    Actually, your message highlights the problem: what is the actual advantage of an iPad, specifically? If it can't be measured, what does this mean about the value of the device in a classroom?

    Last edited by Val; 08/28/13 08:24 AM. Reason: Hit submit after I'd only started to type
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    Originally Posted by Val
    Actually, your message highlights the problem: what is the actual advantage of an iPad, specifically? If it can't be measured, what does this mean about the value of the device in a classroom?

    What's the actual advantage of a spatula? It depends on what you intend to do with it. It's ideal for flipping things, can be a scraper or stirrer in a trice, can be somewhat limited at scooping things, is absolutely useless as a scrubber, and if you've already used it on food, can be a disaster as a back scratcher.

    So... iPad. It's a tool. Its utility depends entirely on how you intend to use it.

    And that's why its value can't be directly measured, because there will be differences in how it's used... varying by district, teacher, student, and parent.

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