Who’s afraid of the big bad iPad?

How often do we find ourselves afraid of something because we are ill prepared? We fear it because we don’t understand it or because it challenges us to change our comfortable way of living and thinking. There are a number of administrators, teachers, parent and students who feel this way about incorporating technology into the classrooms.

When technology meets children they are propelled into a world of wonder, challenges, immediate rewards and instant gratification. Who doesn’t want to hear encouragement and earn rewards on their quest to becoming the best of the best?
Some of the challenges with technology is how rapid it changes, how slow we are to embrace it, fears of over exposure to the world and its potential dangers. Conversely, the good things are instant answers, exposure to other experiences, the ability to reach out to people on the other side of the world which has completely changed business, training and now slowly but surely the educational model.

One school district in my area issued iPads to some of their students. Initially parents were concerned about the cost, responsibility that it placed on their children to keep up with the iPad, potential breakage along with not fully understanding how the devices would assist in the educational process. The parents were not comfortable with the teachers’ ability to incorporate technology into the learning process. They parents expressed valid concerns.

How do educators successfully integrate technology with the curriculum? This is new territory. There has been research conducted on the subject of incorporating technology into the classroom and the most effective route to increasing student’s usage, the effectiveness of technology on learning as well as other topics along this vein.

As we continue to speed towards an increasing usage of technology in the classroom, we can embrace the fears and realize the technology will not blow our house down but with the usage of the right software, we can build a house that is able to withstand strong winds.

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