I love iPads. I am excited to see them in the hands of kids and teachers. They are engaging and the list of apps continue to grow each day. The future of textbooks and books in general seems to be pointing in this direction.
It is so important to know a few things before you jump on the iPad bandwagon. To successfully integrate iPads into the day, one needs really great professional development. All technology integration requires good pd, but for iPads it is vital. The reason is that iPads do not run "java." Java is a programming language that is used in A LOT of websites, especially interactive education sites. So, one cannot just have kids jump on websites using their iPads. For example, the virtual math manipulatives will not all work on the iPad. Starfall, the awesome phonics site, only partially works. All of those wonderfully fun games on the Colonial Williamsburg site will not run. Most video will not work unless you are using an app to run it. Also, apps cost money and all must be approved through your district tech person. You also have to figure out how to easily get those apps onto all of your devices. You don't really want to have to load the apps one at a time on each individual machine.
So, one needs to find creative ways to use the device and also needs to have ways of adding apps easily. All of that requires great professional development and a smooth relationship with your technology department. It is possible and it will be worth all of the hard work. With that said, this week I will be covering some great apps and sites that you can use for the iPad. I can't wait!