Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The iPad's Influence Upon Edcuation

            The Apple iPad is a touch-screen tablet that has helped to transform the future of the education. This form of technology has given students the ability to use a smaller, more efficient device in day-to-day affairs, without the need of a laptop. The iPad has not only started to revolutionize the future of the classroom by allowing students to buy cheaper copies of their texts books for the iPad, but it also provides information at our finger tips. The device has become one of the most popular products on the market, giving way to breakthroughs in special needs education as well as providing solutions to ‘green initiatives’ in the classroom and workplace. It will continue to revolutionize the classroom setting by transferring textbooks to eBooks and lectures into videos. There are still concerns that arise about the versatility needed for note taking on course work, as well as, the semi-limited availability of certain eBooks on the iPad. Although there have been some technical issues and security concerns that have arisen since the product was released, there are also many benefits to using the iPad in the classroom and the workplace.
The iPad is a touch-screen Apple tablet device that has been on the market since January 2010. It was a highly anticipated technology that Apple positioned as according to Sanford (2012) the “first device in an entirely new market segment, making the claim that it would be better at many tasks than either the smartphones or traditional laptops.” It was designed to be the main competitor to the Amazon, Kindle offering less expensive versions of the eBook’s available through Amazon.
Because the iPad’s eBook applications are 30% cheaper than the Amazon Kindle’s eBooks (Sanford, 2012), many classrooms across America including secondary education, higher education, even MBA programs have chosen to transition their textbooks and classwork to the iPad due to it’s universal appeal and overall efficient operation system. Giving students and working professionals the option of having everything they need within a small touch-screen tablet has made way for new ways of teaching and conducting business.
Potential Benefits
            Due to the convenience and mass appeal of the iPad, it makes the product easily marketable to the whole world. As it’s popularity spreads, the more universal and easily accessible information and applications for eBooks and other educationally beneficial features on the iPad will become. The future of education and the workforce has been moving toward a paperless and fully electronic way of operating a classroom. Recently, efforts to reduce paper consumption have been stressed in most universities and workplaces. Apple has capitalized upon this fact by offering an easy paper free solution with the iPad.
Not only has the iPad helped green initiatives, it has made it easier for students to carry and organize their school supplies by just having an iPad instead. Georgia University’s Robinson College of Business for example has aggressively pursed using iPad’s as a replacement to textbooks. “This fall, students in the college’s Executive MBA program were given iPads as a replacement for textbooks. The 1.5-pound iPad will replace the 20 pounds of textbooks that students typically are required to buy for class (Damast, 2010).  The Apple iPad is moving into classrooms quickly while Apple promises to “eventually have textbooks for almost every subject at every grade level.” Apple executives argue that, “today's textbooks weren't adequate teaching tools as technology had raced ahead. Instead, textbooks should be portable, searchable and easy to update, they said, demonstrating the ability to load, close and manipulate diagrams and video content by pinching your fingers” (Vascellaro, 2012).
The iPad’s versatility helps teachers also to engage with the students and to bring the classroom to students who may not be able to attend an on-campus lecture. A potential benefit would be, “the use of new approaches such as video-recorded lectures to communicate directly and individually with all students has been the preserve of technology-savvy educators” (Manuguerra & Petocz, 2011). Due to the fact that students come from a full spectrum of studies and usually have busy schedules, using video-lectures with online courses on an iPad is a great alternative. “In these recordings, the slides, with audio commentary by the lecturer, are dynamically annotated as notes, graphs and formulae are written on the screen of the iPad. This is a revolution for students who are not comfortable in studying exclusively using books or notes but cannot enroll as internal students” (Manuguerra & Petocz, 2011).
Students within the classroom also enjoy engaging in the lectures with the iPad, because of the usually quick access to the internet and recording functions of the device. “With the adoption of the iPad, the presentation and communication during lectures can change. Instead of static slides, lively and spontaneous presentations can be created. Slides can be annotated on the iPad itself in real time, the use of the whiteboard can be dismissed, and every note, graph or formula written during the lecture can now be recorded” (Manuguerra & Petocz, 2011). It is an easy way for students to engage with the material both inside and outside of the classroom.
Another unique way iPad’s have made their way into classrooms is for children with special needs. In Melbourne, Australia, there have been schools for children with intellectual disabilities that have integrated iPad’s into their curriculum. The iPad is much more intuitive for students who have special needs due to the touch-screen technology, making it easier when students struggle with dexterity, mobility and especially communication. The application, “Proloquo2Go, meaning ‘speak out loud' in Latin, is an alternative communication tool for people who have difficulty speaking, and the app is proving to be a effective way for some students at Warringa Park, School for Children with Intellectual Disabilities, to communicate” (Ellis & Shoni, 2011). Using applications like these are very helpful for teachers to engage students while teaching them how to communicate using the iPad. Dawn explains. 'Children that have never communicated a sentence before are starting to make requests and make choices using the iPad. You can't put a price on that” (Ellis & Shoni, 2011). The iPad has helped special needs children learn how to communicate with their teachers and parents sometimes for the first time.
Potential Problems with E-Learning
Although there are many ideal aspects of the iPad, there are still concerns about the transition from textbooks to eBooks, as well as, digitizing all course work. Many people using the iPad in the classroom are satisfied with the touch-screen tablet, but there are also many who struggle with engagement on a tablet device versus taking notes by hand. When students are typing on a touch screen keyboard, it is much slower and harder to keep up with the professor. They have recently started to offer keyboards for the iPad, but without one it is not conducive to rapid note taking (Wieder, 2011).
According to Wieder (2011), iPad’s can easily hinder teaching because of the limited access that it gives to certain university applications. “Paul Steinhaus, chief information officer at Chatham University, discussed getting iPads for incoming students, soon realized that the iPad, with the slow finger-typing it requires, actually makes written course work more difficult.” He explains that although the iPad is great for viewing media and easily accessing the course reading, students are also expressing that it is more stressful using the iPad when taking tests or quizzes because of the possibility of losing their work before it is saved or the potential of having faulty internet connection (Wieder, 2011).  
Many more options for eBooks and applications have been created, which has slowly bridged the gap between the number of eBooks offered on the Kindle versus the iPad, but the iPad is still behind. This is making it difficult for students who are trying to switch over to a tablet instead of textbooks but can only get certain books on their iPad (Wieder, 2011). Despite the lack of eBook’s in comparison to other PC tablets, the popularity of the iPad is much higher than that of its competitors.
Security Concerns
            There have been a few concerns about the iPad that have arisen since its release in January 2010.  A security expert stated that strong encryption and an access control feature are missing from Apple's new iPad tablet device. Weak encryption is also a problem of the iPhone, making the security encryption easy to bypass if lost or stolen. People’s information is easily accessed especially if the person’s device is not set up with a security code. There have been concerns that have been addressed by Apple, but continue to be an issue (Mills, 2010).
            Another issue is the insecurity of the Wi-Fi network on the iPad. “SMobile is developing a tool to protect against such attacks, in which someone is able to intercept Internet traffic mobile devices send over Wi-Fi networks and inject new messages while masquerading as a legitimate party in the communication” (Mills, 2010). Because people do a variety of security sensitive activities on their tablets, it makes them a target for hackers. Apple has attempted to remedy these security concerns over the course of the past two years.
Further Required Research
            One could look deeper into the different potential uses of the iPad in the classroom and how the educational systems are going about implementing these changes. There have been many schools, universities, and businesses that have transitioned their practices and lessons into electronic systems, but not much information is given about the process in which we must go through to revolutionize all of our educational practices in the future.
It also seems like more research should be done on the social repercussions of moving further into the world run by technology. There are not many scholarly studies done about how the new generation will be interacting with one another, mainly in an electronic capacity. It is interesting to see what will happen to human interaction when we are no longer forced to engage with others face to face nearly as much as we had to 20 years ago. It is important to learn more about how eBooks and eLearning will affect the future of education.
            The iPad since it’s first debut has continued to modernize the way that technology plays a role in our educational system. Due to the vast array of applications and uses, the iPad has become one of the most popular forms of technology in the world. The transition from paper textbooks to eBooks has allowed students a way to save their money and their shoulders, ridding them of the heavy and expensive textbooks that have been apart of education for generations.
Because of the ongoing technological revolution in our society today, it is important that one keeps up with the trends. The new era of eBooks, video lectures, and touch-screen technology has become the forefront of our new developments as a society and a world. Allowing students and working professionals to have easily accessible information through internet and eBooks, as well as, a way to keep their social events, entertainment, and personal information all in one small tablet, is truly revolutionary. The iPad has given great improvements in the areas of special needs education as well as in higher education. As the iPad transitions into the classroom, it has helped many students and professionals individualize their learning as well as maximize their knowledge. The iPad has given us the ability to share information easier than ever before, and continued to revolutionize the future of education.

Damast, A. (2010, November).  Apple iPad Enters the MBA Classroom.  Business Week.  Retrieved February 27, 2012, from ProQuest ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 2197390951).
This source discusses the movement of iPad’s into the classroom in Georgia University’s MBA program. It gives information about the process the university went through to transition their students into eBooks, as well as, give information about how the eBook’s are received by students.
Ellis, S. (2011). Teaching the Future. Screen Education, (63), 60-64. Retrieved February 27, 2012, from EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete. (Document ID: 65158354).
This source discusses the way that the iPad has revolutionized special needs education in Australia. It also discusses the different ways that it helps special needs children to communicate better with adults through using different applications.
Manuguerra, M., & Petocz, P.. (2011). Promoting Student Engagement by Integrating New Technology into Tertiary Education: The Role of the iPad. Asian Social Science, 7(11), 61-65.  Retrieved February 27, 2012, from ProQuest Asian Business and Reference. (Document ID: 2521401331). http://mutex.gmu.edu:2048/login?url=http://proquest.umi.com.mutex.gmu.edu/pqdweb?did=2521401331&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=31810&RQT=309&VName=PQD
This source provided information about the benefits of using the iPad in the classroom. The author discussed the benefits of using the iPad for students who are inside and outside the classroom as well as the new technology of video lectures.
Mills, E. (2010, January 28). Expert Sees Security Issues with the iPad. CNET News. Retrieved February 27, 2012 from:
This source discusses the security issues with the iPad, specifically the security encryption that is not sufficiently secure. The article also talks about the lack of security that the iPad has if one does not create a security access code.
Sanford, G. (2012). Apple-History/iPad. Apple-History.
Retrieved February 27, 2012 from: http://apple-history.com/ipad
This source tells a brief history of the iPad and other facts that are needed for the background of the paper.
Vascellaro, J., Tibken, S., & Trachtenberg, J. (2012, January 20). Apple Jumps Into Textbooks --- With More iPads in Classrooms, Education Push Would Help Fend Off Android-Device Competition. Wall Street Journal  (Eastern Edition), p. B.8.  Retrieved February 27, 2012, from ProQuest ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 2565055481).
This source discusses the marketing strategy of the Apple corporation. It gives information about what the iPad offers and the appeal that the iPad has in the classroom.
Wieder, B. (2011). iPads Could Hinder Teaching, Professors Say. Chronicle Of Higher Education57(28), A22-A23. Retrieved February 27, 2012, from EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete. (Document ID: 59673375)
This source discusses the ways that iPad’s are troublesome in the classroom. The author
talks about the ways that iPad’s are more difficult to use in the classroom than laptops.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please add to advantages and disadvantages of technology. Also, please share your experience with the technology.