In a blog post, Beth Holland of EdTechTeacher poses the questions, “Why iPads?” and “Why Technology?” Beth answers these questions this way:

• Because I want my students to communicate in complex and modern ways.
• Because I want my students to make their thinking visible.
• Because I want my students to document their thinking as they work through a process.
• Because I want my students to have multiple ways through which to interact with learning objects.

In a workshop, Beth was approached by an English teacher who wanted to know where to begin with iPads. Beth’s response was to start the workshop with a set of content-specific learning objectives.

For the English and Language Arts classroom, the “because” might look something like this:

• I want my students to demonstrate their knowledge of the parts of a story.
• I want my students to master the concept of the story arc.
• I want my students to make a personal connection with their text and then communicate that back to their peers.
• I want my students to collaborate in order to better comprehend difficult texts or dramatic works.

Beth then showed the teachers how students could use technology in support of these learning objectives. She proceeded to outline a learning objective and then construct a project to help students reach the objective, such as: I want my students to demonstrate their knowledge of the parts of a story.

Learning Objectives: In addition to learning the story elements, students learn:

• to write a constructive review.
• to assess the credibility of an author or source.
• to create a sense of visual hierarchy for their information.
• to document their sources.

Next page: An app list driven by learning goals