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There is More to iPads in the Classroom Than Apps

In a previous post, Evaluating Apps with Transformative Use of the iPad in Mind, I describe my ambivalence about teacher asking my for the “perfect” app to teach this or that.

I have teachers ask  me frequently about app recommendations for different subject areas.

  • “What app could I use to teach subtraction?”
  • “What app would you recommend for my students to practice writing?”
  • “I want to use iPads in my Science class. What app is good for that?”

I usually sigh to myself, when I receive questions like that. While I am not against in suggesting apps ( which I love doing), I am not comfortable with the level of disconnect between the teacher (who knows her/his students best) and the curriculum related skills and objectives and pedagogical relationship that needs to be in place for an app to be a match to use in a classroom or with an individual learner.

In a recent article, titled ” How the iPad Can Transform Classrooms” by Ben Johnson on Edutopia, raises awareness of the difference between using the iPad as a way to teach students versus the iPad as a tool to learn for students.

The lesson planning questions I hope my teachers will learn to ask will change from “How can I teach this content?” to, “How can I get students to learn this content?” I hope they will answer this question with open-ended learning activities rather than saying, “I have an app for that.”

He calls for the paradigm shift in seeing the iPad as a TOOL TO THINK WITH:

Sure there may be some useful apps that help the student gain the skills, knowledge or insight into the subject, and a teacher might want the class to do it together, but focusing solely on the apps, or student control, limits the true potential of the iPad — “a tool to think with.”

images used with permission from Andrea Hernandez @edtechworkshop

 

In an effort to NOT see only apps and to turn the focus on pedagogy and the iPad as a LEARNING and THINKING tool, I am continuing to try to bring attention to apps THROUGH THE LENS of Bloom’s Taxonomy, Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and 21st Century Skills and Literacies.

You can download all four images as a pdf.

 

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iPad apps and Bloom’s Taxonomy

iPad apps and The Digital Learning Farm

 

Currently there are "17 comments" on this Article:

  1. [...] There is More to iPads in the Classroom Than Apps | Langwitches Blog. [...]

  2. Carla Arena says:

    Loved it, Silvia! And will certainly share it with the teachers I work here in Brazil.

    Thanks,
    Carla

  3. [...] of the Apps Station and found a fabulous handout from a blog post by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, There is More to iPads in the Classroom than Apps. My group worked on adding events to the calendar, taking pictures, creating folders for photos, [...]

  4. [...] which I find appealing, but may turn off some novice users. I delved into the post, “There is more to iPads in the Classroom than Apps,” because it actually addresses one of the questions I have been pondering. The article [...]

  5. [...] much about iPads (still have a PC), so it intrigues me to hear about kids using them. There is an article written by Ben Johnson that explains why iPads are more than just letting kids play with apps. It is a tool for students [...]

  6. Sue Dunlop says:

    Thanks for this! I plan on sharing your ideas with my staff.

  7. [...] also very insightful and bring perspectives up for teachers to think about.  For example, in this blog she talks about teachers coming to her and asking her which apps they should use in their [...]

  8. [...] to look because of so many eye-catching titles. An article that I really appreciated titled “There is more to iPads in the Classroom than Apps”. It emphasizes that iPads are a great tool to think with, and that she doesn’t appreciate the [...]

  9. @IISLE_epsb says:

    There is More to iPads in the Classroom Than Apps | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/NVfBuRzo

  10. There is More to iPads in the Classroom Than Apps | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/v5WiHwvw #khspd

  11. There is More to iPads in the Classroom Than Apps by @langwitches http://t.co/HE1Nc3aBSU #abed

  12. There is More to iPads in the Classroom Than Apps | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/Bia1NpMDuc
    Love this graphic! The iPad-a tool to think with

  13. There is More to iPads in the Classroom Than Apps http://t.co/iHhUmwXGzY

  14. […] not limited to) addition, algebraic equations, vocabulary, and spelling. And a growing number of teachers and teaching groups have found ways to incorporate Bloom’s Taxonomy (a staple of good tea…. This has been especially useful for elementary-aged children whose teachers have used a blended […]

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