I recently read an article about US schools trimming the number of textbooks the students had to keep track of and going to a one-to-one model of iPads and students. This change has met with controversy from parents and community members. Some feel that buying a $500-600 iPad is not a responsible use of tax dollars. Others feel that the iPads in the classroom take away from the teaching and learning done in the classrooms.
Having never really used an iPad for personal or classroom use I can’t talk about their effectiveness (though I would like to have one for personal and classroom use) but I liked what Mark Warschauer said “There’s a saying that the music is not in the piano and, in the same way, the learning is not in the device.” It is reassuring to know that just like the music is not the piano, learning can take place, and does take place, with and without the use of other devices. As the trend of one-to-one increases, it will be interesting to see what other studies will be done to look at if the added technologies in the classroom improve learning. See this recent news post, from the New York Times, about how one district is not seeing improve learning based on state reading and math scores.