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iPads in Kindergarten

iPad
Nearly 300 Kindergarten students in Alburn, Maine are getting Apple iPad 2s this fall. School superintendent Tom Morrill calls the iPad what I have called it: a revolution in education.

This is just a plain good thing for these kids. But the Washington Post always feels compelled tomanufacture a debate in an effort to be fair. (“Wait, let’s hear the birthers side of the story, too.”)So we hear from one Maine mother who is concerned:

I understand you have to keep up with technology, but I think a 5-year-old is a little too young to understand.

Did this come from a mother who has explored the uses of the iPad with children 5 years-old and younger? No. Just some random Alburn, Maine mother with children in fourth grade and high school.

Strangely, this article is mostly naysaying jabs:

1. “But there’s no real evidence that technology helps kids learn better, and educators say it’s still important for young students to use three-dimensional objects such as blocks or books.”

My response
: what type of evidence do you need? A controlled double blind study? No, no one has even tried to do that yet to my knowledge. But is that the test we are going to use with every teaching technique? In the real world, you test children on the fly. If they are learning with a technique, book, whatever, you roll with it.

2. “[T]oo much of anything can be a bad thing.”

My response
: no kidding. This is pretty obvious. No one is saying put about all books and three dimension objects away and let’s focus on just the iPad. They are creating a straw man. I think eating spinach is good for kids. Do we really need to make a special point of saying if all they eat is spinach, that is no longer good?

Is buying these iPads a huge waste of money for this school system? If the don’t use them properly, absolutely. As we talked about before,

technology alone does not teach kids
. But the iPad is an unbelievably incredible weapon to educate children when used properly.

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  • Kim Floyd

    I am a kindergarten teacher in California using iPads with students. They are magic! I adore the ease with which kinders can now access technology at a level that makes sense to them. They are not being left behind, and neither are teachers who are not “tech saavy.” Ipads are very classroom friendly. I think they can bridge the gaps between those who know and use tech, and those who have been afraid or uncomfortable trying new things in the classroom. This is a tech tool to embrace for young learners.