I’ve most recently traveled out on the Washington State Peninsula to Belfair and North Mason High School for a mini, one class, iPad experiment. Anna Munkres’ 10th grade biology class was exploring the differences between mitosis and meiosis, and as an alternative to using a 10 year old biology text they were able to do their research on the iPads.
With only 11 iPads and a class of around 30 students they broke off into groups and researched quietly for the majority of the period before reporting back their findings at the end of the class. Students only used the bare bones apps provided on the iPad to complete their research(most of which was done on Safari).
The most notable accomplishment with this exercise was how quiet the volume level became after the students had the iPads in their hands. They were on task and researching within minutes of getting their hands on the iPads.
This pseudo impromptu exercise is a excellent example of just how powerful the iPads can be inside the classroom. Some of their success at North Mason High was due to the changing up of students’ routine and I’m not sure that having the iPads in each student’s hand 24/7 would increase productivity and learning. However, these intermittent interactions with the iPad has shown great results in capturing the attention of high school aged students.