Category:  Thoughts

Using iPads in K-12 Education in Los Angeles: A Step Forward or Backward?

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) recently negotiated a deal with Apple in which students across its 47 campuses will receive iPads. A project to update school technology, the Board of Education unanimously voted to approve the $30 million plan. Members of the LAUSD say that the project is the first step toward providing every one of its students with an iPad by 2014. Understandably, Microsoft is upset about the negotiation.

Is this a step forward or a step backward for K-12 education?

Today, teachers spend time teaching to the average student, which marginalizes those highly proficient and those needing extra assistance. The use of technology in schools could help each student master the content and skills they need at a personalized pace. Activities and games could also make remembering and learning more engaging and entertaining. Used alongside traditional teaching methods, iPads could help improve K-12 education.

However, the iPads should not be treated as a way to replace bad teachers or counteract large classroom sizes. Many people fear that it could isolate students and hinder students’ social interaction skills. Instead of adding computer games or videos to a students’ workload, teachers should incorporate iPads in away that makes them effective teaching tools.

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