Endless possibilities

When using traditional textbooks, students often bump into words, definitions, or other things they cannot visualise or cannot grasp. As a teacher it takes a lot of preparation to supply accurate images and examples. When using digital media, this process gets a lot easier. If students need additional information they can just Google it. Of course this is not as simple as it sounds. The Internet is full of lies and misleading, inaccurate information. Therefore it is important to teach students how to use the Internet in their advantage, and screening information carefully and judgementally in a certain way.

The best way to include the Internet in lessons comes with a certain amount of preparation. Using the Internet, as a teacher should not mean you do not have to plan your lessons any more. You should hand the students useful links and applications that can help them to learn a certain subject. In that way students come across a lot of beneficial resources they can use. In this study we have made a list of useful apps, this list however is not the full package. You should choose appropriate resources regarding the specific learning contents.

When a teacher chooses to include iPads in his learning strategies he should be able to embrace technology in his lesson plans. Otherwise the students just have to carry an extra pound in their schoolbags. Both students and teacher can learn new things every day. Students are often early adopters, this means they can also contribute to the development of the lesson in the classroom. Students could find (more) useful links or applications. As a teacher you should be thankful and comprehensive when students offer their own resources and applications. This goes with the current vision on education, when students find things themselves, they will understand better.

The application market grows every day. You can use applications for digital storytelling, to create eBooks, to solve math problems, to take notes, to replace¬†dictionaries, to brainstorm, to research… The biggest challenge now is to find the right tool for the trade. It is not always easy to find the right application taking in consideration there are about 10 billion apps in the app store. When looking and testing apps teachers and students should exchange information on how to use them, the advantages and disadvantages of certain applications. That way a transparent way of teaching can be adopted. Students will be motivated to find the most useful applications, and they will feel appreciated when the class adopts some of the methods and applications.

The most important thing we should keep in mind is that an iPad should be used for more than browsing the Internet. That is what school computers are used for. The iPad can be used during any part of the lessons, without the hassle of going to a computer class. Applications often have more possibilities than regular websites. On the other hand applications are more limited in adaption. Often you cannot do much more than their exactly intended purpose. In other words you need a wide variety of applications to get the most use out of them.

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