iPads Above and Beyond: Meeting the Needs of all Students Part 3 of 3
Every child is uniquely different and each student has unique learning needs and a unique style of learning. The use of the iPad in the classroom provides the teacher an advantage in helping to meet the learning needs of all students in his/her classroom.
Without any added expense utilizing the accessibility options in the settings options of the device will help teachers meet the needs of students with special needs. The great advantage to this is that the child with vision or hearing impairments for example no longer needs to be centred out with special devices and tools to meet their needs. Read aloud options and voice recognition apps assist students with learning disabilities to still be able to learn and complete their tasks independently.
The iPads also allow students multiple ways to be creative and to share their work and knowledge with others. No longer is a project completed in a booklet form or on a backboard only for a teacher audience. Students are no longer limited to written words to express their ideas. There are now choices and creative options. For example after reading a book students can post a book review for family and classmates to read using an app like Kidblog, create a commercial or trailer using iMovie, they can use Prezi or Keynote to make a presentation to share, word clouds and mind maps can easily being used as a character study, or to examine themes. In our media rich and social media culture providing these students with these creative options is another avenue of equipping them with potential skills they will eventually need in the workforce.
Finally, the iPads really do allow for ease of differentiated instruction. Students can be using the same app for reading or math but be working at their own pace without anyone else knowing except for the teacher the level of learning they are at. If students need help with a particular concept they can spend more time working on it and can easily access online videos and tutorial that may help explain it in a new or different way that clicks for them. I used to have a fear that if I moved an advanced student up and give them more advanced work that I would run out of work pages or lessons for them. This fear is now long gone with multiple of options available. Competition and instant feedback are found on many apps both of which are significant factors in helping students to stay on task and motivated.
The use of iPads in the classroom helps all students to learn, grow, and explore based on their own strengths, interests, and abilities. Students no longer have to fit in a one size fits all mold to be successful in school and that I believe is one of the greatest advantages of the use of technology advancements such as iPads in our schools and classrooms.