I was recently asked my thoughts on why 1-1 iPad might be beneficial for kindergarten to 2nd grade students? I have always subscribed to kid's ability to start younger than many give them credit ... Please note that this is not meant to be solely focused on the iDevices but 1-1, even though I firmly believe that the iPad is the device of choice.
1. Executive functioning in a digital age with digital tools. Calendars, Reminders, To Do's, Organization, etc. The ability to use notifications in creative ways can be very powerful for younger students. Think beyond just reminders as teachers can utilize unique messages and motivation as well.
2. Moving towards paperless classes earlier than later sets a tone for their education that I believe is very important.
3. True collaboration beyond sharing.
4. Reaching higher in Blooms ... Many apps are worksheet like and that means some are just transferring some of that low level learning. The ability to have these learning activities in digital format allows instruction to build upon them more effectively. The ability to use text, drawing, screenshots, sound, and video will allow effective and creative teachers to move beyond low level activities more effectively and efficiently.
5. Deep practice ... We need to provide students with dynamic tools that allow for practicing those basic skills that take them far beyond a worksheet with 10 problems. Many of the best activities allow for that low level practice and then proceed to step up the difficulty as students are ready. There is a lot of value in deep practice where students are completely engaged. An example is World Math Day. We had some students do over 1000 math problems as part of that activity. How many worksheets is that?
Additionally, listen to interview on IEAR of Joe Morelock, tech director at Canby in Oregon. He talks heavily about the addition of time for students to learn. He explains this much better than I am!
6. Differentiation is much more possible for teachers to manage with these devices
7. RtI can be managed more effectively as well in many ways from specific interventions to data collection.
8. Assessment can take many more forms because of text, screenshots, drawing, sound and video with the device.
9. Instantaneous access to so many activities and resources from every conceivable subject matter offered in school. These activities go way beyond apps! Books ... Books ... and more Books ...
10. Personalization of the tech allows students to more effectively explore creative possibilities and logical troubleshooting. They tend to be more effective outside the box as a result.
11. The ability to access digital activities that extend traditional activities by being mobile with learning is big.
12. Digital tools allow students to "test" before and after something. I am referring to drafting and manipulating final products. Art teachers may ask their students to do a virtual model clay mold before they hand the students the actual clay. Maybe the students make a real clay pot, digitize it and now they are able to create multiple final products with different forms of painting on it.
13. Giving students an experience for ownership of a 1—1 device has it's own lessons embedded simply by being 1-1.
"If we teach today's students as we did yesterday's, we are robbing them of tomorrow." — John Dewey.
These were some of the thoughts to consider ... Let me know if you add or subtract from that list ...