The Circular spoke to two post-primary students to assess their views on the use of iPads in
secondary schools. One was a first year student and the other was a third year student. It is clear from the interview below that the first year student still sees the iPad as a novelty, yet admits that it can be a distraction due to the availability of downloading social media apps. In contrast, the third year student has made observations over the last two and a half years which, suggest that he has made definite conclusions about the fact that iPads only serve as a distraction, and offered no extra benefits to his learning.
The Circular also contacted the Department of Education in order to acquire their views on the use of iPads in the classroom. This is what Press Officer, Stephen Loftus, had to say: “The new Digital Strategy for School sets out an ambitious Five Year Plan to further embed ICT in teaching, learning and assessment and responds to the challenges associated with new technologies. As part of this Strategy the Department will;
– Provide advice on ICT equipment and digital learning tools that are best-suited to support learning and teaching in schools.
– Develop guidance for schools that wish to develop BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) approaches and exploit other emerging technologies. These will be supported by best practice videos, case-studies and advice on devices and pedagogical”.
He continued: : “The decision to use tablet/iPad devices is a matter for the Board of Management of each school. Where the introduction of new technology is planned, it is advisable that there should be consultation with members of the school community, including parents. The cost and other implications must be fully considered by the Boards of Management before a decision is made.
An advice sheet on the adoption of tablets in schools is available on the PDST-Technology in Education (PDST-TIE) website. This advice sheet covers areas such as what tablets can offer a school, educational considerations, purchasing considerations and software”.
The student’s we interviewed used iPads from a company called Wriggle who refer to the iPad as a “Digital Schoolbag”. Please listen to the student’s views on their use of the iPad’s in the classroom below.