The Journal, an education publication, recently released an article debating the validity of using devices, such as the iPad, for educational purposes. So far iPads and similar devices have been purchased for students in several districts around the country and there?s a debate going on right now as how effective these will be and what it means for the future of education in this country.
Many are wondering if these are cost-effective tools given that each one price, on average, around 5 hundred dollars. It?s not clear if there would be an educational discount to school districts that decided to introduce them on a broader scale. There have been sporadic reports from all over the country of different schools buying these devices for classroom use. In no way has the iPad established itself as a mover and shaker in the education world but it has many people discussing the pros and cons of its use and how, for those lucky few kids, seemingly placing the world at their fingertips.
Many teachers around the country have been asked how the see these touch screen devices as applicable to the classroom. It?s doubtful that we?re anywhere close enough for touch screen teaching to be effective give that, as student Catherine Nothstein noted, ?Well right now we don?t really even use laptops in the classroom, so something like this would be a big improvement.? Laptops and other technology have been around for many years now yet there has been no substantial attempt to integrate even basic computers into the public education system due to the cost prohibitive nature. We?re currently in a situation where many districts can?t even afford an adequate amount of teachers for the number of students currently under their care. But some argue that it?s the iPad?s potential that make it such a candidate for more widespread use.
Many hope that the iPad and other touch screen devices could be used to great affect in supplementing many of the deficits currently plaguing the American educational system. By allowing preschool educational games and other teaching programs and devices, the hope is to supplement the lack of teachers and better prepare our children to thrive in the information age. America is sorely lacking in this front when placed up against children from other countries like China and India where computer programming and IT is a common part of the curriculum. Only time will tell whether or not touch screen devices will be the savior or just another of many opportunity passed up by a lackluster educational plagued by corruption, mismanagement, and resistance to reform.