Are K-12 teachers bearing the burden of digital innovation?

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

Teacher, students with iPad Laptop

Are teachers saddled with the task of determining how to best use iPads?

iPads are entering schools more rapidly than any other technology in recent years. A million iPads were sold to the K-12 market in the month of June 2012 alone. More K-12 school boards, administrators, and IT departments answering “yes” to the question of whether to acquire iPads. But now a set of much more difficult and complex questions arises. Questions include:

  • What exactly should educators do with the tablets?
  • How should teachers incorporate iPads into the curriculum?
  • How can tablets be best used to improve teaching and learning?
  • How do you assess tablet-based work?
  • How do you organize a tablet-using classroom?

If you’re a K-12 educator, we want to know your experience integrating iPads. Are teachers, when given a set of tablets for their classrooms, are also given the responsibility of figuring out how to use the tablets effectively? Is the burden of digital innovation being unfairly placed on the shoulders of teachers?

“A curriculum that uses digital content requires a lot of work on the part of the teacher,” said John Halpin, Vice President of Strategic Programs  and Education Practice leader at the Center for Digital Education.

Many districts have established professional development sessions for their teachers who use iPads. In Chicago, for example, where iPads have been extensively rolled out, teachers who’ve been given the privilege of using tablets in their classrooms participate in a professional program that meets once every other month.  San Diego Unified School District, which currently has 26,000 iPads in the hands of students, has made technical training a priority for its teachers.

Apple, a company that has offered strong support for education throughout its history offers a nice online resource for teachers and has a even created a downloadable Professional Development Catalog. But is this research making extra work for teachers? If you’re a teacher who uses an iPad, we want to know your story.

If you’re a teacher, do you feel you were well prepared for tablet integration? Do you feel you have to spend extra hours researching best practices, looking for and trying out apps, and collaborating with peers? Have tablets improved teaching and learning in your classroom, or have they, so far, required a lot of effort on your part in comparison to the benefits they’re delivering? If you’re a K-12 educator, tell us your experience with iPads.

Photo of teacher and students via Shutterstock.

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