Last year, some Georgia legislators proposed replacing books with iPads in Georgia schools. It was suggested that the measure might save money on the cost of books while lightening the load carried by students. I wasn’t convinced that it would improve education if they were simply being used as book replacements.
But now I’m learning about some neat educational initiatives using iPads as more than just a book substitute, but to add something to the classroom.
A Virginia teacher used Skype to enable guest lectures and a visit by the author of a textbook used in his class.
Another teacher used Skype to allow a girl who was home sick to participate in classroom discussion.
And here’s a list of ten ways to use Skype to enhance the classroom experience. One of the ways mentioned in that list is to allow students to practice foreign languages with native speakers.
In November, I wrote elsewhere about Oregon’s use of iPads to help elderly and disabled voters cast their ballots. NPR had a story on the pilot program, and a follow-up by Politico.com suggested that state officials considered the program a success: