New New Math: IPads in the Classroom
Teaching math? There's an app for that. Throughout the country, K-12 educators are using Apple's iPad to provide innovative instruction for students. Learn how teachers are incorporating the world's hottest tablet device in the classroom. Schools offering Mathematics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Tablet As Teaching Tool
Educators understand that student engagement is vital for academic success, and much of their work involves trying to make learning more enjoyable for young people. Increasingly, teachers are turning to tech devices to increase interest in lesson plans, including Apple's iPad.
The iPad is a popular gadget option in schools partly due to its cool factor with kids. To students, schoolwork can seem less 'boring' and feel more relevant if it incorporates technology they like using. In response, schools throughout the U.S. are purchasing Apple's tablet for classroom use. Many are introducing a limited number of devices with the intention of expanding student access over time.
Teachers are incorporating the iPad into instruction in many ways. First, it can serve as a replacement to textbooks. Rather than carry around heavy tomes for each of their classes, students instead have access to all course materials onscreen. Additionally, interactive exercises and applications can allow learners to engage with subject matter in new ways.
The ability of technology to provide enhanced learning opportunities is perhaps no more evident than in the area of mathematics. Graphics, animation sequences, math games and other features available on the iPad can help bring abstract concepts to life in visual form and provide step-by-step instruction for solving problems.
Innovation in Education
Pilot programs featuring use of the iPad in the classroom are being rolled out in districts throughout the nation. One notable initiative in California partners Apple and the textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) in delivering the first full-curriculum algebra app for the iPad. This year-long project is testing HMH Fuse, a 'new mode of curriculum delivery where interactive platforms and mobile devices bring learning to life.'
The pilot - which involves 400 students in Long Beach, Fresno, Riverside and San Francisco - gives educators the opportunity to teach algebra in a more interactive way than traditional print textbooks allow. Students using iPads can read class material, complete practice problems and view video lessons. Meanwhile, teachers can use tracking tools to identify struggling learners and provide real-time feedback.
This pilot algebra program in California may well represent a sea change in the way instruction is delivered in American schools. While the effectiveness of educating students in a way that incorporates computer devices is still being studied, young people's interest in electronic gadgets will likely continue to drive teachers to seek out interactive, tech-based instructional delivery methods.
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