The ‘Evergreen’ iPad: Why all your apps should fit on one screen

With iPads, students can create just about anything, anywhere, at any time.

“Leading Change” column, June 2013 edition of eSchool News—In last month’s column, I argued that by integrating tools like the iPad—a device that allows students to explore and create—and constructing a pedagogy that encourages ingenuity, we can nurture a process of learning that crafts innovative, problem-solving, and entrepreneurial minds.

Yet, despite the incredible influx of iPads into American schools, this opportunity to transform the learning process is largely being wasted.

Back in September, I published a widely circulated article entitled “5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make with iPads (And How To Correct Them).” The piece outlined the common iPad integration errors and missteps I see when working with various schools in our EdTechTeacher programs. In the article, I relay the story of a Latin teacher who declares the iPad “useless” because he couldn’t find a good Latin app. It simply didn’t occur to him to have his students speak, write, listen, record, and present Latin using non-Latin apps.

Time and again, I run into educators who spend hours reviewing long lists of largely drill-and-kill subject apps, such as “100 History Apps” or “50 Spanish Apps for the Classroom.” This obsession demonstrates the most fundamental of iPad integration mistakes—the belief that the iPad is fundamentally a vehicle for teaching content with apps.

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