What do students do with the iPads?
We’ve been using the iPads for a semester now, and they are just there, quietly a part of what we do, now that the rush of a new toy has faded. Sometimes they replace the MacBook. Sometimes they get replaced by the MacBook. I wanted to get a better sense of what the iPads were being used for, so I gave students a survey last week about their use of the iPads and here’s what I found:
- With few exceptions, students claim that they use their iPad a lot, both at school and at home.
- Students claim to spend about equal time on school and non-school related activities on the iPads.
- Students’ most used app varies widely among survey participants. Top apps listed were Safari, Pandora, Facebook, Pages, Calculator, Mail, and FaceTime.
- Similarly, students favorite app varied widely among survey participants. Some of the favorite apps listed were Safari, Camera, Shakespeare, GarageBand, SimplePhysics, GoodReader, YouTube, The Elements, Angry Birds, Opera Mini, Osmos, and Evernote.
- The most interesting responses were to the question of whether the iPad was worth it and would they use one again next year:
I would because I can continually do my school work and do multiple assignments without finding a laptop.
YES IT IS. They’re fun and useful.
yes greatly for the fact of accessibility and learning about tech.
Yes I would because it helps with more than one subject and it is much more convenient than carrying around a lap top.
yes i would, Sometimes when assignments are due that need to be done the next day, the iPad come in handy to get those done.
DEFINITELY. The iPad has been extremely useful in completing various types of schoolwork.
Yes I would. I would use it because it works fast and is easy to take everywhere.
Yes! i use it all the time! Even though i do mess around on my iPad its still get a lot of work done.
Yes I would use it for school-related work next year. When I do use it for school-related work such as notes and projects it is extremely helpful. Also if I ever have a question that needs to be answered, I can easily get on the iPad and find the answer.
I think the iPad is worth it however a laptop may be more convenient because it allows more programs to be used. For example I don’t have a computer at home at the moment and Most of my school work requires some sort of technology and thats when the iPad comes in handy however I can’t do everything on the iPad.
I am not a technology based person although I was born in the tech-boom era. I appreciate technology to an extent with its resources, but I believe that some things should not be “turned into an app”. For me, I would stick to using the laptops. iPads are higher quality, and more notorious, but I find their powers to be limited. They are difficult to keep clean as well. It is a great idea though, for saving space. That’s coming from a traditionalist. I’d say keep the iPads for future use, just not for me.
Not any more than I do now. I don’t like Apple products, they’re overpriced and overhyped. Not to mention the nonsensical programs you have to download just to use an Apple product. They aren’t worth the trouble.
YES! I use Pages all the time to take notes for all of my classes and to type up reports. I also use it to connect to things like Edmodo and GoogleDocs whenever i need. The IPads come in handy many times during the day!
Some takeaways from the survey
Given their own personal iPad and the freedom to modify it, high school students use the iPad in a variety of different ways and for multiple courses throughout the school day. Nearly every student had their own beliefs as to which apps were the best or the ones they used most. Games are on the iPads, but so are a variety of tools for school-related tasks and the students who took this survey believe that they can find a balance between the two. The overwhelming majority of students would use them in coursework again next year if given the chance, which was an interesting result given that most students taking the survey were seniors who are unlikely to get an iPad from me next year since they’ll have graduated.
In conclusion, after a semester with 1:1 iPads, the reviews from students are very positive on the whole, although not every student chooses the iPad as their primary learning tool. iPads seem to allow students to personalize the technology that they use to navigate the requirements of their different courses. Furthermore, by allowing students to take the iPads home, both students and their families have been able to use the devices for a variety of tasks that they might not otherwise have been able to accomplish. Efforts are underway at our school to integrate the iPad into other disciplines besides science and to increase the number of iPads that we can put into the hands of students.