Educational Editorial: iPads in schools

By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Apple's iPad 2 hits the streets this week. According to Apple it is 15 percent lighter, 33 percent thinner, faster and has a camera…and even a "smart" cover.

The iPad, introduced in April of 2010, has sold nearly 15 million in its first nine months, 75 percent of the tablet market. Its iTunes section even has an online university with 350,000 lectures, videos, readings and podcasts being fed by places like Berkeley and Yale.

If Gladwell revised his "Tipping Point" today, it would certainly include the first 80 days of the introduction of the iPad where 3 million devices were sold.

Now leaders like Dr. Pat Russo, Superintendent of the Henrico County Public Schools, are predicting that the iPad, or some other tablet instrument, will become commonplace in the classroom.

It is amazing that I rarely go to a meeting that some other 60-something-year-old does not reach in his or her bag and pull out their note pad…not a paper note pad, but a digital note pad.

Keyboards of many varieties appear and notes are taken, exchanged, emailed, placed in graphics…or thrown away without putting anything in the trashcan.

Now, let's move from the boardroom to the classroom…out comes the paper and pencil from a backpack that should go through a truck weighing station on the interstate, notes are taken, erasures are made and trash cans are filled. Well, our rhetoric about teaching 21st century Skills seems to be lost somewhere in our reality.

This seems like a slam dunk…teach with 21st century technology, go green with less trash, and save the backs of young people.

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