From stuck at home to on the go: The Accessibility of using iPads in the Classroom

The Boy Reader's Class

The Boy Reader’s Class

Apple's iPad

Apple’s iPad

Maybe it was a happy accident or planned; there is no denying that the use of computers for educational purposed has transformed the way teachers teach (Molnar, 1997).Teachers began to make the change from traditional paper and book, to incorporate the computer into the classroom to assist with learning. When the Internet came about, it allowed teachers to teach students using collaborative inquiry-based learning.

When the concept of computer-based collaborative learning began to take shape in classrooms around the country, the computer, as a result, became smaller. No longer were people forced to stay home with bulky equipment, and limited Internet.

The Internet expanded to include not only dial-up modems, but broadband and wireless. With the introduction of greater Internet access, personal portable devices became readily available. Both of these advances were directly responsible to help create a learning environment for students to use personal devices in the classroom.

The biggest technological advancement since the introduction of the personal computer is the iPad. Ernst, Walker, & Cohen (2011), from the Online Learning Consortium gave a presentation about the use of iPads in the classroom. As a result of their presentation, I understood the value that iPads have in the classroom. Students currently use their iPads for playing games and watching movies, so it makes sense for teachers to use them in the classroom. Using iPads in the classroom can have some pitfalls, which teachers need to know before using in the classroom.

Pitfalls of using iPads in the classroom are in poor planning.  Teachers may be ineffective in their planning when giving instructions, the iPads may not integrated into the school’s network, and there may be some students who do not feel comfortable using technology.

The key for teachers to overcome these pitfalls would be first to start with their lesson plan. If using the iPad, teachers need to be sure that the assignment or activity meets learning objectives and engage the learner.  Teachers can assign groups where one or two members can assist other students who may not be comfortable with using iPads. Before diving head into the iPad pool, teachers should take the time to consider their students’ needs and how they address these needs with and without technology. Reid and Ostashewski (2011) produced an excellent study detailing how iPads met the needs of students participating in their study.

Let me know your thoughts!


iPads in the Classroom

A reference for giving good tips for using iPads in the classroom is; plus a video showing how iPads enhance student learning in the classroom

Other blogs this week that share the use of iPads in the classroom are:

Kathy Schrock:





Ernst, D., Walker, J. D., & Cohen, B. (2011, November). Mobile learning with Ipads: Challenges and successes in a large-scale initiative. In D. Ernst, . Symposium conducted at the Online Learning Consortium, Northern Hemisphere D. Retrieved from

Molnar, A. (1997). Computers in education: A brief history. The Journal24(11), 63-68. Retrieved from

Reid, D. & Ostashewski, N. (2011). iPads in the Classroom – New Technologies, Old Issues: Are they worth the effort?. In T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2011 (pp. 1689-1694). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved from

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2 Responses to From stuck at home to on the go: The Accessibility of using iPads in the Classroom

  1. cwhipedtech says:


    I left teaching in May 2009, and the iPad was released soon after. I remember thinking that education was about to change forever. I have been impressed to see how quickly the iPad and other tablets changed the course of education. I recently went back to teaching and was able to see firsthand how much technology had changed the classroom. At this point, I do not use iPads as a required part of a class, but I do have students who like to use them to take notes.

    I appreciate your comments about teachers needing to incorporate the use of iPads into their lesson plans. I also agree the the use of the iPad needs to engage the learner.



  2. Kelly Kietzerow says:

    At my middle school, we do not have Ipads, but the students are all assigned an Macbook Air to use during their three years in middle school. It does take adequate planning on my part to ensure that the students are using their computers appropriately. It has only been three years since the introduction and even though we are pretty use to it (I really do not want to go back to not being 1 to 1), we still have many things to learn. We have learn that we cannot not skimp on our “bootcamp” we have with our new sixth graders. This is when we talk about digital citizenship, proper use and other important facts and uses of their computers. The training of the students in using their technology is just as important and the teacher training.



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