iPads open the year in Chicago

September 1, 2010 •

Earlier this month Tom Vander Ark of EdReformer argued the iPad will bring more innovation than the i3 grant program, and there has been much talk about their potential for learning.

Now Chicago Public Schools is beginning to move on use of the iPad, bringing them into 20 schools this year. The school is providing grants to buy iPads for the students and training for the teachers.

Burley, a magnet elementary school in the Chicago Public Schools district, will use iPads this year to communicate content and develop reasoning skills. The school will begin using the iPads in small literacy centers. Once they’re integrated into the culture, teachers will begin working them into the school day.

This will be illustrative of how the devices are picked up in the schools, and what trends of adoption and use emerge. It is difficult to incorporate new technologies into the teacher-lecture school model. It makes sense that the iPads will work in Burley’s literacy centers because they offer a different kind of learning environment, but will it fare as well in classrooms based upon teacher-lecture? That seems difficult.

More and more as technologies advance learning models will need to be rethought to accommodate the capacity of new technologies, instead of trying to fit new devices into existing schools and programs.

Image: iVillage.com, Getty Images