It Wasn’t Hard to Prove: iPads in the Classroom

By: Mary Kienstra on: June 16, 2014  in: data, Engagement, iPads, presentation

This year I had 8 iPads in my classroom.  I had requested more, enough to have a 1:1 classroom, but I was very grateful for the ones I had.  Resources like iPads are not abundant at my school.

I was not surprised at the end of the year when my administration asked me to tell them how I used the iPads in my class.  I wondered where would I start – how could I help them to realize that having iPads in my class changed everything?  So, of course, I asked my students.  I told the kids that I had a meeting coming up to convince our administration that the iPads were good for learning.  

The first thing they asked was if they could come to the meeting.  They wanted to present the information themselves. Of course my principal thought that was a great idea and scheduled the presentation during class.  Now I had some ideas!!  Our Mission:  Prove to the administrators that iPads are good for learning.

We wrote a survey for the students in my classes to answer about how the iPads influenced their learning.  My 4th grade math classes analyzed the numerical data.  They worked in groups to create graphs and summary statements.  They wrote scripts and practiced presenting this information.  (This was also a very authentic way to have students analyze data and practice presentation skills.  They never realized they were actually learning!)

The day of the presentation, I presented examples of student learning and then each group of students presented their data.  It was compelling!  

The students themselves convinced our administrators that the iPads had improved their learning.  After the presentation, our principal told the kids that not only will we keep the iPads next year, we will also have 5 Macs in my class too. 

I could have presented this information myself.  I could have told the administrators that iPads are good for student learning, but students presenting their learning was much more powerful.  Take the risk!  Give your students that chance to shine, to show what they know, and why it matters. 

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