Apple’s Education Initiative has put the iPad in the spotlight this year, prompting more and more schools to bring the hottest tablet technology into the classroom.
With Textbooks for iPad supporting multi-touch gestures, reference features, and note taking ability, educators called for an easier way to create custom material for their students. That call was answered by iBooks Author, which allows for easy textbook creation. Textbook companies, as well as creators for individual classrooms, can update their information easily and as often as needed, creating more economic and environmentally friendly learning.
iTunes U caters more and more to the individual learner every day, as courses from institutions are available for download – many of them with multiple types of media and presentation. The iTunesU format eases the issues that disrupt learning time, such as looking for the right section of course material to answer questions, or the disadvantage of immobile. iTunesU allows educators to note where answers are, and enables the student to learn on the go.
Here are marked benefits to having learning hosted on the iPad (or other tablet devices as they become available and marketplaces grow). First, the use of apps can lower the cost of learning, as they are easy to update and generally have competitive pricing. Traditional textbooks, on the other hand, are expensive to produce and difficult to update.
Tablets also encourage curiosity and engage students in multi-sensory learning, as well as presenting information from a variety of sources in a centralized app. Apps can assess student progress and engage with interactive elements in a way that textbooks and traditional learning aids cannot.
Apps covering topics that are difficult to understand – specifically STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) apps, can help student learn with hands on learning that allows them to experiment and create in a controlled environment. These apps will help prepare students for the fastest-growing job markets in the coming decades.