School Embracing iPad Technology to Inspire Learning
A Derbyshire junior school has introduced iPads into the classroom to help inspire pupils and teachers in enjoying exciting new learning experiences and boosting the children's potential to learn through technology.
All pupils at The Elms Junior School and Nursery in Long Eaton are using the new iPads in their ICT lessons while the school plans to increase its investment in the tablets to support further technology-driven learning in other lessons in the near future.
New research by Durham University found that highly-interactive multi-touch, multi-user desks can boost skills in mathematics, with enhanced engagement, problem-solving, collaboration and knowledge sharing between pupils increasing their information retention. The study showed cooperative learning helps pupils interact and learn in a different way.
iPads can have a similar impact as their intuitive and fun nature makes pupils want to use them, and show and discuss what they are doing with their classmates. Nearpod software links the class iPads to the teacher's iPad, allowing the teacher to observe how the children are doing, send quiz questions to the whole class and see what they answer with.
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More and more education apps are now being developed specifically as linking technology and learning becomes ever more relevant in a 21st century classroom.
Mr Keith Morrow, Head of The Elms, explains: "Children learn better when they are fully-engaged in what they are doing rather than passively listening. There is a natural inquisitiveness and chatter in the classroom when the iPads are in use, which, led by the teacher, encourages children to explore and share ideas, which aids learning.
"We want our staff to be at the cutting edge of teaching and the iPads are a very useful cross-curricular tool, with not only the education apps proving extremely useful but also its audio-visual tools, books and creative functions providing the potential for diverse, creative and, most importantly, memorable learning experiences for both our pupils and staff."
The teachers use the iPads in a number of ways including as an interactive whiteboard, on which they can display Powerpoint presentations and screen shots of the different learning steps with explanations. The school also plans to invest in Apple TV in the future, so teachers can connect their iPad with the TV and demonstrate a live iPad.
Although the iPads are only currently used in ICT lessons, they support the whole range of subject areas in a variety of ways, such as thesaurus (English), drawing programmes (Art), movie maker (Technology), times tables (Maths), flags and capitals (Geography), history calendar (History), religious stories (RE) and Puppet Pals Play creation (English Literature). There is also an after-school Maths iPad activity group.
As well as the new iPads, The Elms also has Kindles, which are used in reading groups and are proving a popular way to better engage children in reading books using technology.