Why use iPads for learning?

The key success factor for any Netbook or iPad program is not necessarily the selection of the device but rather is the use of devices by engaged, supportive and prepared teachers within the context of a broader pedagogical change program. (Keane, Lang and Pilgrim 2012)

Digital technologies are increasingly transforming the way we work, live, learn and play, offering new opportunities, better tailoring educational choices, and unprecedented access to services and resources. Social media, online games, multimedia, cloud computing, interoperable systems and mobile learning have become a pervasive and necessary part of everyday life.

The Horizon Report 2013 K-12 Edition identified mobile devices and apps as the two emerging technologies that would enter into the mainstream for schools within the next 12 months (NMC 2013). Mobile devices, such as the iPad, and apps can be used in educational settings as an annotation tool; to enable creation and composition; facilitate social networking; and provide rich tools to capture and edit video, audio and images. The portability, flexibility, and natural intuitive interfaces make tablets ideal devices for students to develop their 21st Century skills, such as creativity, innovation, communication and collaboration (NMC 2013).

Whether it’s connecting with new people via social media or discovering local resources recommended by an app, mobiles provide people with constant opportunities to act upon their curiosities and expand their knowledge. (NMC 2013)

The Department of Education and Training (DET)‘s 2010-2011 iPads for Learning – In Their Hands Trial placed over 700 iPads in nine primary, secondary and special schools and the Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute. The findings of this trial were that the iPad was an effective and engaging learning tool, especially in primary and special settings schools; that quality teaching was the factor that enabled the iPad to be used effectively to improve student motivation, engagement and learning outcomes; and that teaching and learning success with iPads is more likely when they are used in a supportive school and home environment. 

Please note: This website is a teacher resource. Teachers are advised of the need to check the terms and conditions, privacy, and age restrictions of digital resources before using them with students. Teachers need to be aware of how and where their students’ information and content is used and shared by the digital technologies they plan to use. Parental consent must be obtained to use a student’s personal information to generate accounts and provide access to online services. Non-identifiable information should be used by students working online.