We received this guest article from Robert Morris – he details how iPads benefit student learning and writing.
Ever since its invention, the iPad has become widely used in the schools and not only for entertainment purposes. This tool is now used for its numerous benefits in terms of student learning and writing. Students use it to read articles, e-books, keep up with the latest news and trends and write texts. At the moment, there are many apps that can be used on iPads with the purpose of better educating students, which makes this invention one of the most promising technology tools for improving student writing.
Even though the technology is moving quite rapidly, parents remain partially hesitant of replacing the traditional paper and pen with an iPad. Of course, the advantages of the iPad do not mean that the traditional paper and pen system needs to be forgotten, but it is crucial that we understand and value the few advantages iPad has over books. A combination of the two is now the most promising way of improving student writing skills.
The benefits of using an iPad in the classroom
iPads have the memory to store multiple apps, have a larger screen than those of smartphones and are portable. This makes them not only more flexible for use when compared to computers, but also better in terms of a range of motions, especially when it comes to writing. If used properly in the classroom, the iPad can become one of the best tools for writing improvement.
Many researchers have pointed to the importance of this tool in the learning process. An English teacher from Ohio named James Harmon has conducted a study that resulted in a higher percentage of students that passed both the writing and reading tests with the help of the iPad. According to this study, students who had an access to this tool while learning had an 8% higher chance of passing the writing portion of the tests. This confirms the belief that iPad is a great way of improving the basic literacy skills in both writing and reading, as well as those of every student of today.
Six in every ten students agreed that tablets help them study
The Pearson Foundation has done a survey that resulted in more than six in every ten students agreeing that the tablets help them in the studying process more efficiently than any other tool. According to the results of this survey, 66% of all college students participants and 63% of the high school seniors agreed that this technology allows them to perform better in classes.
Another study from the Oklahoma State University reported that 75% of the participants chose the iPad as the best tool that enhanced their learning. Aside from giving them the opportunity to use the latest software for learning purposes, the use of iPads has also lead to decrease in student expenses, according to this research. By using electronic recourses and versions of the books and having an unlimited access to various learning sources, the iPad has proved to be a great tool in terms of learning.
‘Flipped Classrooms’ achieve a higher percentage of passing rate
The ‘flipped classrooms’ in the KIPP Academy in Houston has achieved a higher percentage of passing rate than those of traditional classrooms. According to this research, the flipped classrooms are those who used iPads in the learning process and the rate was 49% higher than that of the classrooms with no iPads.
Educational iPad apps
When it comes to iPad apps, there are many choices for learning development. Out of the various choices, there are several apps that are specially designed to help students develop their writing skills. Such tools come in the form of reading games, writing tools and interactive books that help students enrich their vocabulary and provide them with guidance that will help them improve.
As for children, there are many apps that will help them learn to write and spell. These have proven to be much better in terms of entertainment since students are now allowed to practice and learn how to write by using different shapes and colors of letters.
Some of the best apps for writing are:
- Write About This for practising writing skills.
- Chapters Notebooks for Writers for managing and creating notebooks and writing projects, keeping a photo log, a travel journal and personal diary.
- iBook for downloading and reading all kinds of books, starting from bestsellers to classics.
- iTooch Language Arts for exercises and lessons in reading, grammar, writing and vocabulary for each grade level.
- ABC Cursive Writing for helping students work on their handwriting.
- 7- Sentence Builder for iPad for helping children learn how to build sentences.
Modern gadgets make our life much easier: we can always stay online, we have unlimited access to information all over the world, and there are so many apps and tools that help us learn better! Though we need to be careful as technology can make us more alone and use both: traditional and modern educational methods.