It’s estimated that only about 10 percent of K-12 schools teach computer science. Some companies are trying to fill a void in American public education by teaching kids computer programming basics. The push comes amid projections that there will be far more tech sector jobs than computer science graduates to fill them.
One principal in an affluent Bay Area School is striving to do more than just “enhance” classroom learning with iPads.
The rush to purchase iPads often precedes the careful planning and preparation that’s so crucial to their success as educational tools. Technology alone is never the answer. Instead, iPad use needs to be integrated within a holistic approach to 21st-century education that encompasses a thorough and ongoing review of the skills and competencies required in our rapidly changing society and the educational processes that best help students acquire them.
As more school districts roll out tablet computers to students, they’re debating how much to restrict access to certain websites and games. Some districts shut down wide parts of the Internet, but others are trying to take a more nuanced approach.
Schools have begun to recognize the importance of multimedia use in education. Fortunately, with its built-in microphone, camera, and a host of multimedia apps, the iPad is an extraordinary tool for creating and integrating multimedia into education.
One of California’s poorest school districts, the Coachella Valley Unified southeast of Los Angeles, is currently rolling out iPads to every student, pre-K through high school. It’s an ambitious effort that administrators and parents hope will transform how kids learn, boost achievement and narrow the digital divide with wealthier districts.
Los Angeles Unified School District started issuing iPads to its students this school year, as part of a $30 million deal with Apple. But less than a week after getting their iPads, hundreds of students had found a way to bypass software blocks meant to limit what websites the students can use.
Creating a process to arrive at sensible, relevant, and positive agreements for tablet use in schools is a key part of the journey toward implementing a successful tablet program.
As more schools across the country begin to use tablets in classrooms, it’s worth taking the time to note how other countries are incorporating tablets for learning. In this Slate article, Lisa Guernsey points out that the emphasis is less on games and interactive content and more on the iPad as a tool for capturing experiences.