I work with several different classes at Bronx Green. My original focus with the ipad is more of a data one and not so much how I can help kids integrate technology into their everyday learning experiences. However, slowly I have come to find that the ipad in my classroom, outside of my classroom, and around my classroom is becoming part of my routine. The data aspect is still an important one, but when speaking in regards to the technological impact on students, I will put the data aspect aside.
Now, I can say with some confidence, that my teaching would be the same with or without the ipad. My students still use pen and paper to do their work and I encourage it. The ipad is one machine and cannot be in the hands of every student at every moment. However, that said, having access to one, has provided me a unique opportunity with some of my more reluctant readers and writers.
Technology is something that all my students cling to. They all have phones, ipods, and computers. They are very much part of the virtual world. It is difficult at times, for a student who spends their time at home on the computer and their phone to sit down in class and transition into a book. It is as if they are looking for the access to technology in the classroom as much as they have access to it outside of it. The ipad allows me the opportunity to give a few of my most challenging students the chance to read a book on the ipad and has increased their reading stamina. They are able to read the book much like they would a paper one and in many ways are not much different from the world outside that is reading on tablets and kindles.
I can’t say that I won’t transition these students between the ipad and more traditional books – because I will. I have a class of students that need the opportunity to use this technology. I can say however, that the ipad has helped bring some of my most reluctant readers back into reading. I was one of them myself and I will continue to draw from the ways in which my own teachers worked with me as inspiration to reach my own students.