Focusing on specific learning goals that promote critical-thinking, creativity, collaboration, and the creation of student-centric learning environments are really the best way to use iPads in the curriculum. (Source)
Most behavioral issues with iPads in the classroom occur when students don’t have a clear-cut reason for using technology, or they are not required to submit some type of measurable outcome. Any good lesson must include not only a clear learning objective, but students should also know the answers to the following questions:
- What is the learning objective?
- What role do students have in the learning process?
- What assessment is being used to measure their understanding?
When we add technology into the equation, and these expectations are not clear from the beginning, students are more likely to be off-task and therefore will have a more difficult time when it comes to the assessment.
When you consider Bloom’s taxonomy and using technology at various levels, the lower the level of your learning objective, the more your students will be off-task when technology is available to them. If the iPad is being used solely as a digital worksheet for remembering and understanding, the students will utilize copy & paste, sharing files, and other ways to get this basic work done quickly and without actually learning the material. When students are expected to create a final product for an assessment, or evaluate various resources by utilizing their iPads, they will tend to be more on task, more engaged, and are more likely to reach the desired learning objective.
By using backward design of curriculum such as UbD, and focusing on the Essential question first, we can see what we want students to know, how we want them to get there, and how we will assess their understanding. When we utilize technology tools in this process, we expand our possibilities for the following:
- Delivery of content
- Formative assessments
- Summative assessments
Once we know what we want our students to achieve at all stages of the unit, it is much easier to integrate technology effectively and with little disruption to our classrooms. When we integrate technology into our units with the purpose of enhancing the learning process and engaging the students more effectively, we gain better control of our classrooms and the learning process has more opportunity to become student centered.