iPads in Action
Canadian International School’s increased use of iPads in Grade 1 has enabled students to develop digital literacy skills and learning outcomes that were previously unattainable. The mobility and touch capability of iPads allow the pursuit of deeper and more personalised learning opportunities, which are built on in later years.
CDNIS piloted the 1-to-1 iPad Program in the 2014/15 school year, during which teachers across the curriculum evaluated and shared iPad applications to further existing Grade 1 learning goals. Human Development and Family Studies Department assistant professor and researcher Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and University of Wisconsin-Madison colleagues recently provided a set of standards for evaluating the educational value of interactive apps, including:
- active “minds-on” learning
- engagement with the learning material (without distraction)
- meaningful experiences that relate to the child, and
- social interaction.
These so-called four “pillars” of learning are demonstrated in the diverse and engaging applications that CDNIS pre-loaded onto student iPads.
The benefits of personalising the iPad are myriad.
On Sept 10, parents participated a curriculum night with Gr.1 teachers and learned about the development of iFolio in Gr.1. Parents had a chance to view their children’s iFolio, subscribe to it, make a new post using their child’s iPad, and leave a comment on their iFolio. Such understanding and experience is vital to student academic and social development. As Dr. Georgene Troseth, an associate professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University, pointed out in a recent study, “It’s good to keep in mind both that children can learn from apps and that they still need real interaction with people….A tablet should thus be used as a tool to increase interaction with your kid.” Parents left curriculum night with a deeper understanding of the learning purpose of the iPads and how they can support their children at home.
By Makky Fung and David Larson
Content quoted above is drawn from the following article: The iPad and your kid—digital daycare, empowering educator, or something bad? by Johanna Lee for Ars Technica.