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The Times, They Are A-Changing

It’s true that the times are now changing quicker than ever with technology forcing people to race ahead or risk being left behind. Heck, you are reading this on a computer screen when fifteen years ago the thought of having the internet at your home meant long cables and slow speeds when now you could be reading this on your laptop as you browse the internet or on your phone as you wait in traffic. With the modern technology coming so quickly it’s no wonder that children as young as ten are the quickest to pick up the changes and to adept to them. It’s not unusual to see a child as young as five brandishing an iPad or talking on a mobile phone.

Computers are moving from special labs into the classrooms and some schools around the globe are even giving out laptops to students so they can do their work on a computer at home. However, the real shock has come this new school year with a number of American schools choosing to get rid of text books and opt for giving their students Apple iPad’s. This new type of hardware integration is said to benefit these students in a number of ways, from minimising the number of text books they have to carry around the giving teacher’s better access to pop quizzes and home work check-ins.

The new Apple iPad comes standard with iBooks, which is an app that allows users to both read and store their books and PDF files in the one places. People can also bookmark and write notes in the books to refer to later. With hundreds of books available online in e-book formats and many more in PDF it’s no surprise that these schools believe that their students will able to get around school without needed to waste time dropping off texts to their lockers in between classes.

Another positive, teachers say, is that the iPad opens up learning for everyone. Many students fall behind because they cannot read as well or as fast as others and so they simply give up and don’t do the work. Every book in iBook can be read aloud so that these students can listen to the texts, and users can also look up words in a dictionary or online to get a better understanding of the passage or book as a whole.

The iPad can also be used as an assistance tool for students who have difficulty learning. The current school curriculum is based on a passive learning approach and some students cannot absorb information this way. With the iPad learning becomes interactive with hundreds of different apps that bring subjects like maths and science into a hands-on experience. Students who have other disorders such those on the Autism Spectrum as well as those who have poor eye sight or poor hearing enjoy the iPad because it allows them to interact on the same level as their fellow students.

It’s not a case of whether people agree with bringing this technology into the classroom but a case of how long it will be before it becomes the national and international standard.

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