Assignment 1

"The Two Article Summary"
Some words are loaded with emotion. Change is one of those words. It is so often desired yet so often feared. It seems it is human tendency to resist change, but those who oppose it with extra strength are generally the ones who have been around long enough to remember when the current "change from" item was the necessary "change to" item in the last cycle of change. And herein lies the obvious but painful truth, change is continuous. And here's another obvious truth--change costs money. So how do these truths apply to education and the iPad? Well, the field of education has the opportunity to set down the textbook and pick up the iPad. Talk about a change. Donovan Goode posts some of Rob Reynolds thoughts on this change in his blog for PBS TeacherLine. Here's a summary. IPads provide immediate and updated information, not like a textbook. They can be used in many ways, unlike something like an e-reader that has just one function. IPads are easy to carry and use almost anywhere (and engaging enough to actually cause the student do that). The ease for users to be connected also provides a quick and productive learning community. All of these benefits say that this should be a great change for education. Bridget McCrea agrees, but one thing I found interesting in her article titled "Measuring the iPad's Potential for Education" was the talk about cost. Yes, iPads are less expensive than laptops but they are still not a cheap investment. At a time when the economy and politicians dictate that less should be spent on education, will the iPad really make it into a majority of classrooms? This speed bump (hopefully not roadblock) along with that resistance to change that lives in many humans, educators being some of those humans, may prove to make it a difficult process. So will the iPad change education?...iWonder, but iHope!

Goode, D. (2010, January 27). How will the iPad change education? In PBS TeacherLine. Retrieved May 15, 2011, from http://www.pbs.org/teacherline/blog/2010/01/how-will-the-ipad-change-education/

McCrea, B. (2010, January 27). Measuring the iPad's potential for education. In T.H.E. Journal. Retrieved May 15, 2011, from http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/01/27/measuring-the-ipads-potential-for-education.aspx


"The Five Article Summaries"

#1
I had a strong interest in reading this article as it was the first I found that really talked some specifics about how the iPads are being used in an algebra classroom. Jeannetta Mitchell is an algebra teacher in San Francisco. Her class is participating in a pilot study where the textbooks were replaced with iPads. What I find very interesting is they still used software that the textbook publisher created. I find this somewhat comforting, in that using an iPad doesn't mean we have to reinvent the content. The iPad is just much more student friendly and a more interactive resource, or more like a resource full of other resources. I also appreciate Jeannetta's very fundamental approach as she comments on the iPads role in the classroom, “This is not a magic wand,” she says. “This just makes it more fun for them to learn. Nobody’s just sitting there writing down the answer, saying I don’t know how I got there. They know how they got there.” And how does she know that they know? There is still direct instruction in the classroom, there is still group work in the classroom, there are still students doing problems on the board in front of the classroom, and the teacher is still busy helping students that need it. The teacher is still very much aware of what students are doing. The iPad and it's tutorials, examples, and videos is also there to help and engage the student along the way.

Barseghian, T. (2011, January 26). A day in the life of the iPad classroom. In Mind Shift. Retrieved June 5, 2011, from http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/01/a-day-in-the-life-of-the-ipad-classroom/


#2
This article provides a nice counterbalance to the infatuation we sometimes have with new technology. Most of the article is talking about an opinion piece that Joshua Danish, an assistant professor at Indiana University, wrote in the Indianapolis Star. Though there is great reason to believe that iPads will be or already are a useful tool in education, Danish offers a warning to educators, “Historically, there’s a burst of enthusiasm declaring that each new technology will be a ‘game changer’ for education. This has rarely been the case.” Before all the iPad fans get all worked up, don't worry. He does say they are full of great potential but he is studying how they should best be used and how teachers should be properly trained. He also seems to indicate that the software out there currently might not be the best design for classrooms...that better classroom software is probably being developed currently and that waiting a little bit might not be a bad idea. Interesting.

Jackson, S. (2011, April 25). IPads in the classroom: Integration matters. In Spotlight. Retrieved June 5, 2011, from http://spotlight.macfound.org/blog/entry/ipads-in-the-classroom-integration-matters/


#3
I don't mean to be the "devil's advocate" on the other side of the iPad debate, and actually I don't really think these authors do either, but I'm intrigued when I find articles that aren't all roses, so to speak. To be honest, these students do bring up a valid point. If you're going to require students to buy iPads, then they better be well used in the classroom. If not, don't require students to buy them. To me, this editorial proves true the other two articles I already summarized. IPads are not the magic answer so students and teachers need to be trained on their implementation and role with the course curriculum. If this does not happen, students will be voicing frustrations like this editorial and iPads will not be a successful educational tool. Good reminder.

Editorial board. (2011, April 19). J school must end technology requirement trend [Editorial]. The Maneater -- Student Voice of Missouri University. Retrieved June 5, 2011, from http://www.themaneater.com/stories/2011/4/19/j-school-must-end-technology-requirement-trend


#4
This is another article on a case study using iPads in an algebra classroom. Again one of the main messages is that kids are more engaged. What caught me eye was also the report on increased proficiency for the kids in the iPad version of the algebra class. The concern I and others often have is finding the balance between entertaining the students and engaging the students. Entertainment does not necessarily lead to understanding whereas engagement most often does. So far, "the Riverside Unified School District is reporting 90 percent proficiency in classes where the iPad is used compared to 60 percent proficiency in traditional Algebra I classes." That's a big difference.

Puente, K. (2011, May 9). IPads a factor in math class. Press-Telegram, Long Beach, CA. Retrieved from http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_18028636


#5
Kentucky is stereotypically not known for its educational pursuits but this article highlights some Kentucky area school districts' use of iPads in their schools. As with most schools, one of the greatest concerns is the cost. The counter argument is that in the long run, the cost of iPads is actually the same or better than the cost of printed textbooks, and the advantages with the iPads are many...interactive and upgradable just to name a few. It will be interesting to see what text book publishers charge for their iPad applications as time goes on in their effort to recoup the money lost in textbook sales.

Kinslow, G. (2011, February 6). IPads come to classrooms. Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY. Retrieved from http://glasgowdailytimes.com/local/x856149873/iPads-come-to-classrooms