Special thanks to Brian Gibbs, a Naturalist for Clayton County Conservation:
Many schools in Clayton County, Iowa are implementing use of iPads as an educational tool. iPads are being used from kindergarten all the way through high school.
No surprise to parents of young children because the trend these days -from California to New York- is for schools to require students to sign (a use of technology) pledge containing a list of appropriate behaviors. Doesn’t appropriate behavior primarily relate to social interaction in the classroom and on the playground? Nowadays we’re even outlining rules for a virtual world formally applied primarily to rules of engagement on outdoor playground equipment.
However, according to the U.S. Center for Media Literacy, fewer than 5 percent of schools teach media education. Inquiring thoughtful parents might ask: Why not have a class dedicated to teaching the risks of media consumption rather than insisting all children have an iPad in their hands?
In a 2011 New York Times article, Larry Cuban, professor emeritus of education at Stanford University, suggested that millions of dollars in financial resources currently being invested in iPads would better be spent to recruit, train and retain teachers. Cuban wrote, “There is very little evidence that kids learn more, faster or better by using these machines…iPads are marvelous tools to engage kids, but then the novelty wears off and you get (…back…) into the hard-core issues of teaching and learning.”