Over the years I followed the development of mobile technology for children with great passion and I think that now is finally the time to declare that I think that giving every pupil an iPad would have a huge, positive impact on their learning. The quality of their components (inc. camera quality and weight), the features available on iOS (esp. when iOS 9.3 gets released) and the range of software to install on them are all just so good that children would be able to use them easily to produce high-quality work.
How much would it cost?
The cheapest iPad on sale at this moment in time is £219.
With the Apple Volume Purchasing programme, schools can buy apps to install with a huge discount - up to 50%. Excluding website subscriptions (e.g. Discovery Coding, Pearson Bug Club, Doodle Maths etc.), my list of paid apps that I would recommend to use with a KS2 class comes to about £30 per iPad before the discount is applied:
- Comic Life 3
- Explain Everything
- Book Creator
- Touch App Creator
- Life Cards
- I Can Animate
- Wipeout Wall x ÷
- Drawing Pad
This put the the total per device at no more than £250, this comes out at £7,500 for a set of 30.
* This doesn't include the cost of any cases, storage/charging trollies or styluses.
How would 1:1 iPads help organisation in lessons?
- Less photocopying - share links to websites, PDFs of (scanned) documents
- Sharing screens (in iOS 9.3)
- No booking issues - iPads can be used when wanted
- Easier management for feedback
- Easier way for pupils to respond to feedback
- No sharing of iPads with children who they don’t get along with
How would using a iPad class management service (e.g. Showbie or iOS Class) complement/replace book work?
- Greater personalisation of tasks as it is easier to share differentiated tasks (e.g. maths questions)
- Easier to distribute and collect in work than by hand.
- Children have their own personal reference guide/library of useful resources to refer to independently as required (e.g. maps, dictionaries, the English Descriptosaurus etc.)
- Feedback can be given using sound as well as annotations.
- The need for children to do some handwriting in English to meet/exceed the expected standard for writing and the need to do mathematical drawing and calculations on paper in preparation for written maths SATs has to be considered.
- Flipped (or pre-) learning could be integrated into lessons.
- Improved parental engagement (inc. links with apps like Class Dojo).
How would work produced on an iPad be better than done by pen/pencil in books?
- Photos could be used more easily to illustrate work (e.g. science investigations)
- E-books could be created with embedded sound and interactive elements (e.g. quizzes)
- Movies could be easily recorded.
- Easier to regularly do short-sharp bursts of maths apps (e.g. Doodle Maths, times tables work, games during starters/plenaries)
- Neater (no messy cutting and sticking)
- Emoji could be put next to text (the children would love this!)
What are the issues to overcome?
- The set up would only be practical once iOS 9.3+ becomes available pre-installed on new devices and this is just described as being ‘in the spring’ at the moment.
- There is no device requirements listed for iOS9.3 - it could be that it needs to utilise iOS9’s split-screen function for the screen sharing tool to run which only works on iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 which cost more than the lowest spec iPad Mini 2.
- Would 16GB of local storage on the devices be sufficient?
- Where would the devices be stored during the day and night?
- Where would the devices be plugged into the mains for charging?
- Would cases be desired?
- Would styli/’Apple pencils’ be required?
- Would a ‘spare’ iPad be required in case one has a technical problem?
What are your thoughts on 1:1 iPads in the primary classroom?