Assignment 1: Reviews of Five Articles

Prepping for iPads in School
This article is the first of several that will follow Master's Academy's (Oviedo, FL) attempts to integrate the iPad into the school curriculum by giving every 9th-12th grader one to use. It points out the importance of doing the following groundwork before the iPads are introduced: setting up policies for surfing the web; evaluating the capabilities of the school's WiFi system to support the iPads and the internet searches they will make possible, and how to provide financing and security for the equipment. Master's Academy has decided that the school will own the iPads, but the parents will pay to insure them if they choose. The Academy chose the iPad because of long battery life and its instant on capability, as well as the fact that they are more powerful than a handheld device, but more portable than a computer. To prepare for this new tool, the school composed a list of six broad principles: adaptability, creativity, collaboration, innovation, productivity, and ethics. Teachers were given iPads in November to learn to use and prepare lessons for the following year. Master's Academy hopes to use Moodle to build its curriculum rather than relying on apps.

The article made me aware of situations that I may encounter as I begin using iPads in my classroom. When Smartboards were being offered to HF classrooms, I did not consider one because of the time constraints I felt it would put on my schedule. Changing students and shifting grade levels every half hour did not seem conducive to technology that might take more time than I would have to allow for it. This article convinced me that I had made the correct decision. The instant on capability, the that fact that it is more portable than a computer, and its small size, but long battery life will make iPads a welcome addition to the Learning Connection.

McCrea, B. (2011, April 28). Prepping for ipads in school. Retrieved from

Measuring the iPad's Potential for Education
In essence the article points out how quickly iPads may revolutionize education. As 9th grader Catherine Nothstein, a technological native, watched Apple introduce the iPad 1 on her home laptop, she became dismayed that it was being released without a camera. This statement was very telling for me because as a technological immigrant I was simply amazed by what the iPad 1 could do, not by what it was lacking. I don't think in those terms, but the students that I teach do. Much of what this two-year old article predicted now seems quite possible. It pointed out that the iPad would be a vehicle for educational apps. Think of the explosion of apps in the past two years! Additionally the article predicted that the iPad will move electronic textbooks beyond static PDF's to versions that interact with the reader though various forms of media including movies and videos. All this with a tool smaller in square area than a sheet of paper--truly amazing! Essentially the article declares the possibilities are endless because of the flexible design and creative tools build into the iPad.

Just with the small exposure that I have had to the iPad, I already feel that the sky is the limit regarding possible uses for in it my classroom, the Learning Connection. I am excited to begin this adventure. To think I will have dictionaries, thesauruses, whole libraries of information not just a set of encyclopedias, movies, books, and podcasts at my disposable in less time than it would take to walk to my classroom bookshelf and locate the information. I'm looking forward to having this interactive technological tool in my classroom.

McCrea, B. (2010, January 27). Measuring the ipad's potential for education. Retrieved from iPads-Potential -for education.aspx?p=1

Math that Moves: Schools Embrace the Ipad
This article explores the pros and cons about schools adopting iPads. Some of those who support the use of iPads see the following as advantages:
  • IPad's size and portable format make it easy for students to track assignments, make digital portfolios of projects, homework, etc.;
  • the small size of the iPad also makes it less intrusive in the learning process than a laptop thus it is easier for the teacher and student to maintain eye contact during class;
  • IPads would enable schools to use less paper and to adopt portable and lightweight textbooks replacing costly printed textbooks which would also lighten the heavy backpacks that have become part of students' daily lives (In fact the article suggested that Pearson Publishing was to offer iPad versions for 30 popular textbooks programs in various disciplines in April, 2011. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was to do a study in California to compare test scores of students trained using traditional algebra textbooks vs.ones in digital format.);
  • Apple's app store has 5,400 iPad apps that are educational, 1,000 of which are free.

    Views on the opposing side include:
  • Larry Cuban of Stanford University feels there needs to be more evidence to show that iPads improve the learning process and would rather see the money that is being invested in iPads spent on teacher development;
  • University of Michigan engineering professor Elliot Soloway and Cathie Norris who teaches technology at University of North Texas feel that schools may be overlooking cheaper options like smartphones because the iPad has such star power now.

Although I know an iPad will not be a panacea for a struggling math student, it is worth a search to see if it will be helpful for students who are reluctant to do math. I hope to find an app that will review the steps of performing various operations such as long division, multiplying 2-digits by 2-digits, etc. so a student who has difficulty remembering the steps of operations could refer to this app for a quick review before beginning a worksheet. Hopefully this quick review would provide the student the information and confidence needed for success on the assigned problems.

Hu, W. (2011, January 04). Math that moves: Schools embrace the ipad. Retrieved from

Using Ipads for Reference Services: Librarians go Mobile
This article summarizes the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Library's attempt to incorporate iPad 1s as part of their reference services beginning in the Fall, 2010. To track the use of the iPads, the librarians named them after apples. Glitches were noted: 1) Although for the most part the WiFi signal was strong enough, sometimes the librarians had to reconnect if they used an elevator or a stairwell. Additionally the WiFi signal did not work well on the patio which is a popular gathering spot for library patrons. 2) Even though the librarians would be locked out if they did not used the pad for 15 minutes, it was decided not to circumvent this feature for security reasons. Developing a policy regarding downloaded apps resulted in the following: a) All the iPads were put on the same iTunes account; this sync proved cost effective. b) Purchased apps were downloaded to all 3 devices so that all the librarians would have the same tools. c) One person was designated to be the app administrator to ensure access to the credit card was limited, careful consideration was given to app selection, and one person had oversight on the app budget. d) Additionally a LibGuide was set up to track the apps, how they could be used, and provide updates or information about iPad use in other libraries.
Librarians felt that patrons perceived them as cool when they used iPads in their role as roving reference librarians. Librarians noted that an iPad is great for the following reference tasks: accessing the catalog, surfing the Web, and it was helpful at times to have access to the calculator and the following functions: eBook reader, music files, or dictation. It was noted that the librarians liked the camera feature on the iPad 2 not only for taking pictures but also for video conferencing so they planned to purchase one.

Although I am not a librarian, I do spend a fair amount of time teaching study skills in the Learning Connection. The article pointed out the cool factor that the iPads brought to librarians. I feel that it will bring the same cool factor to students when they are learning study skills, which for them can be tedious at times. Through this article I was also reminded of some of the iPad's limitations--the loss of signals and the lockout feature that engages after 15 minutes of nonuse.

Lotts, M. & Graves, S. (2011, April). Using the ipad for reference services. librarians go mobile. Retrieved from

For Children with Autism, iPads an Attractive Option
The article points out the advantages of the iPad over other assistive devices that are recommended for the autistic. Interestingly enough, because of its star power, the iPad creates curiosity among onlookers who ask Blake Henkel, an 18 year-old with autism who is shy, questions about the iPad. Thus the iPad helps break barriers for Blake; when he has his iPad, he is seen as cool. Additionally beyond the cool factor, the iPad does not have the stigma of an assistive devise and it is more portable and not as expensive. Researchers at Auburn University and the University of California have found that iPads help students with the following tasks: track schedules which can be customized with photos of the student doing specific activities at the appointed time; communicate; and act in more socially acceptable ways. There is even an app for tracking one's progress on modifying a specific behavior called iEarnedThat which enables a student to take ownership of changing the behavior and know how close he/she is to reaching the goal and earning the prize associated with goal completion. More studies need to be done so that professionals feel more confident in recommending iPad use by the autistic. PUSH Product Design has created an app for students with fewer than 10 spoken words. It was found that autistic users could communicate faster using the touch option on an iPad rather than having to find the picture in the PECS system. Because of their larger size, iPads may be easier to use for students with fine motor issues than iPods. The number of autistic related apps is growing.

Presently I do not have any autistic students, but I do have a student with autistic-like tendencies. I feel the iPad would accelerate his language development because it would create interest and excitement that would cause him to speak spontaneously. This student would probably forget about his reluctance to join in and respond more like his peers simply because of the interest an iPad would create.

Chi, K. (2010, November 5). For children with autism, ipads an attractive option. Retrieved from

Other articles I found in my search:
Enter the IPad (or not?)
Tablets are coming to a school near you.
Is my Ipad in my backpack?