The New York Times recently featured Roslyn High School on Long Island for their use distribution of ...
The New York Times recently featured Roslyn High School on Long Island for their use distribution of iPads in schools. The hope is that the iPads can be used in class and at home to replace textbooks, turn in assignments, facilitate communication with teachers, and preserve the student’s body of work in a digital portfolio. While some believe schools are too quick to jump on the bandwagon, the argument can also made that tablets extend learning outside of the classroom. Additionally, many schools are looking at the investment as one that will ultimately save them significantly on the cost of textbooks and allow them to go paperless. Roslyn High School estimates that their 2 iPad classes will save them around $7,200 a year.
My 4 year-old son spends part of his week at a special education school in Marin County, California for help with minor speech delays. This school has some severely handicapped children in the program, and the introduction of iPads has also made a huge positive impact over the past few months.
The Dedication to Special Education parent volunteer group, which my wife works with, recently raised $100,000 to distribute small grants to teachers with specific requests. This money will be used to acquire technical equipment for therapeutic use, including 45 iPads.
The combination of the touch screen and large size has been integral in helping the children. Suddenly, kids can handle certain things all by themselves. Toddlers of all ability levels instinctively know how to control the iPad, and the level of success and control it offers to disabled children who were previously unable to use conventional keyboards and mice lifts them emotionally. The iPad and the variety of applications it offers allows children to be self-sufficient and learn rapidly where they could not before.
The interface is powerful and elemental, aligning more closely with natural instincts. For the children that have not yet learned or are unable to control objects and interfaces without an additional level of mediation, this product gives them dignity in an instant.