Many have raised concerns about schools investing to deploy iPads in the classroom. Contrarians to these investments argue that there’s no evidence supporting a better education by using iPads. Some even say that iPads make the work of teachers even more difficult by distracting students in an environment where is already difficult to get their attention.
These are valid concerns from a pedagogical perspective but also from a financial perspective. Tim Cook (Apple’s CEO) declared in 2012 that “The adoption of the iPad in education is something I’ve never seen in any technology”. He adds, “Educational institutions tend to be conservative, but we’re not seeing that at all on the iPad”. As a matter of fact, as of March 2013, Apple has sold more than 8 M iPads to educational institutions around the world. These are good news for Apple, but are these good news for the education of children?
In this post, we don’t pretend to present hard evidence about how iPads in the classroom are changing education. Instead, we will show two examples that we hope can serve as as food for meaningful discussions about how iPads in the hands of students and teachers can be used to innovate in education.
The first example is by itself something so powerful that may induce some people to think about education in a new dimension. We don’t really know how old the student that created this class is, but please listen to him teaching math.
If you are not surprised by A. G. (the awesome kid who created this) math skills, then let me tell another thing about him. A.G. is from Venezuela. English is his second language and he teaches math like Salman Khan from Khan Academy. We arrived to a point where is possible to imagine that the next wikipedia of educational content for children may be made by kids.
Now let introduce you to Nanditha Badami. Nanditha is at her second year of Teach for America teaching math at a school in the Bronx. Nanditha recently started creating short math tutorials for her students. Please check below her class.