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iPads in Primary Education - what's best practice?

I have obviously been watching and researching a lot of elementary/primary classrooms that have already integrated ipad use for every student. This one was particularly straightforward and simply asks children the question; how do you use the ipad in class? A worthwhile video.

It's got me thinking what is the best practice when using devices in the classroom? I don't just want to make things digitally pretty; I want solid educational experiences for my 5G-ers. The students in the video, while a little younger than my class, explain how they use them for a variety of reasons including: making videos, uploading content, editing and sequencing media, educational gaming, word processing, researching information, reading ebooks as well as sourcing and editing images etc.

As teachers we've been schooled in the SAMR model, (S = Substitution, A = Augmentation, M = Modification and R = Re-Definition) which seems to be the system normally applied when using digital technology in educational settings. The aim obviously is to re-define learning opportunities and work flows by integrating technology for a broader purpose, not merely adopting the use of an app to do something you could do without the device. Having said that, I think there will naturally be a bit of all four SAMR categories going on in 5G this year. We will utilise our devices for a variety of purposes and may not consistently re-define every learning experience. But it will remain my aim throughout my units of work. Like the teacher in the video asks, "What amazing new things can I do on an ipad?"

What indeed.


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