04 Jul iPad devices for Education – Why the future matters
Technology for children has become a common discussion point in many parent and teacher conversations these days, with many concerned mothers and fathers wondering how far their children need to be educated about future tech. As the ambassadors of all things Information Technology, Academia have cast their eager eye over the situation and can see a positive outlook.
Technology in Schools
It is, of course, a common message we see time and time again – the future is in the hands of our children. Technology and the role it has to play in the future is naturally key to any child’s development – with those born before the days of social media and tablet computers seemingly aghast of what is around them. Schools are now at the forefront of this revolution and are embracing the growing demand for technology in order to educate and stimulate students of all ages.
Commissioned by the Education Authority (EA), the non-departmental body sponsored by the Department of Education in Northern Ireland, a research paper was produced by Stranmills University College in Belfast that looked at mobile devices in early learning. The research report evaluated the use of portable devises to support young children’s learning in Northern Ireland.
Produced from the findings of research within 5 NI Primary schools, the detailed report outlined the following key points in regards to Tablets in the Classroom:
- Positive impacts on the development of children’s Literacy and numeracy Skills
- iPad in classroom enhanced the children’s communication skills
- Positive impact on reading and writing
- Potential to enhance the children’s numeracy skills in more engaging and exciting way that traditional approaches
- Digital technology complements existing teaching approaches in numeracy rather than replaces them.
- Children’s fine motor skills are reinforced when they use a stylus to practise letter formation on screen.
- Principals and teachers agree that digital devices have the potential to complement all areas of the curriculum and that schools are yet to realise the full potential of these devices.
- The iPad supports the development of other skills such as recording, taking photographs, web searches, cropping and drag and drop.
- It is believed that digital devices have increased children’s confidence and ownership of the learning process.
- There is potential for iPads to support the learning needs of children who require additional support.
- There is evidence of a range of levels of competency and creativity in the use of digital technology by teachers and pupils both across schools and within schools.
- Boys appear to be more enthused when using digital technology, particularly when producing pieces of written work.
Aim of the Report
‘The pilot project ‘Developing the use of portable devices in early years learning’ investigated the long-term implementation of iPads in five Northern Ireland primary schools located within the Belfast Education and Library Board1 (BELB) area, and associated feeder nursery/pre-schools. This study aimed to evaluate the outcomes of the pilot project. The primary objective of the study was to assess the impact of the use of iPads on children’s learning in the Early Years and Foundation Stage of education. It focused on the impact upon literacy and numeracy, as well as examining the extent to which 2 iPads can support other areas of the curriculum.’
The report is free to download and can be viewed by clicking here.
The Academia Technology Group, founded in 2003, is a fast-growing group of technology companies. We only partner with world-class vendors such as Apple, Adobe, Microsoft and HP to provide elite technology solutions across a range of markets including the private and public sectors and pro media sector.
Through no cost of your own – let the trained Apple iPad technicians at Academia come in and evaluate how effective your iPad use is in your classroom. For the sake of the future generation of intrepid digital users, it is time to embrace the technology available.
To speak with our Apple certified IT solution consultants on the ground in Northern Ireland, please call the Craigavon office on 028 38 440 172, or visit our website for more information at nireland.store.academia.co.uk.