iPads & The Importance of Digital Skills
It is important to understand why the iPad is the tool we are using and how it impacts learning beyond the subject content. This includes understanding how to efficiently and effectively use a device with so many capabilities, as well as how to interact online in a socially responsible way and maintain the safety and security of ourselves and our data.
The benefits of using iPads as a learning tool are numerous.
- iPads are an “all-in-one” tool that includes a camera, wifi, a word processor and access to thousands of easy-to-use software applications.
- iPads come with features that make learning accessible for everyone:
- iPads make it possible for students to do creative projects that reinforce their learning by teaching others through multiple means of learning (tactile, auditory, visual, etc.)
- Students can use iPads to work with more independence to accomplish highly rigorous and relevant work.
- Students with special needs can use the touch screen, zoom, screen reader, dictation tool, spelling prediction and font adjustments.
- Multilingual students have access to apps that help them build vocabulary and reading skills.
- Because iPads are easy to carry around, have long-lasting batteries, and a hard drive to download files for access without the internet, learning can take place anywhere.
- iPads will come with rugged exterior cases and will stand up well to student use.
- Apple has extensive experience in education and will provide us with technical support.
"Digital literacy" is a term used to describe the knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary to interact with technology in a productive manner. It is an important piece to using technology effectively. Below are answers to some questions that help illustrate the importance of digital literacy."Digital citizenship" is another equally important term to understand. The concept helps teachers, parents, and school leaders understand what students should know in order to use technology appropriately. Digital citizenship is exemplified by the appropriate and responsible use of technology. For example, we are teaching students about:
- The need to keep personal information private and how to do so.
- Why they should tell an adult if they notice someone who is not being safe, respectful, or responsible.
- Why we should be creating content that is appropriate and that one would not mind if his or her parents and teachers would see.
- Why using these devices is a privilege and not a right.