According to the Technology Department at St. Ignatius College Preparatory School in California, students need a window from their [TBS classroom] to the world, and they need a 21st century communication tool that can collect, synthesize, and produce evidence of their learning.
We feel that an iPad more than meets the criteria for such a tool. Here are some of the features that facilitate students' collection, analysis, integration and creative demonstration of their learning experiences:
- The long battery life means that students can make it through an entire school day without recharging.
- The iPad allows for easy face-to-face interaction, avoiding the barrier between students and teachers that occurs with a traditional laptop lid.
- Drawing on the iPad’s screen is useful in a variety of disciplines, such as drawing plant vascular systems in science or geometric shapes in math.
- Handwriting on the iPad’s screen is useful for quick note-taking in all classes.
- Pen-based annotation of documents and books is quick and easy.
- Reading textbooks and other long-form materials from the iPad is more comfortable than similar reading on a traditional laptop screen.
- The iPad’s small size fits conveniently in student backpacks.
- The broad developer base provides numerous discipline-specific apps
- The iPad’s instant on/ instant off capability preserves class-time for meaningful learning activities; learning isn’t put on hold while a traditional laptop boots up or shuts down.
- The iPad does not allow true multitasking, thus encouraging students to focus on the learning task at hand.
- The built-in camera takes movies, and is easy to use for in-class activities such as practicing conversations in World Language class.
- There are fewer pieces and components on the iPad compared to a traditional laptop, reducing maintenance.
(Source: St. Ignatius College Preparatory, San Francisco, CA: Why iPads?)