iPads: A Teacher’s Perspective

I started teaching ten years ago in Southern California. Back then integrating technology involved fighting for a time slot in the computer lab. Not much has changed in the past decade until now. Last week freshmen at Burlington High School received iPads for 1:1 technology, and I still can’t quite wrap my brain around this opportunity. What surprised me the most about the first week is that students who struggle with reading seemed more confident and engaged during English class as a result of this device. Students who wouldn’t crack open a book over the summer started filling virtual libraries with books and reading them. One of the best ways to increase reading fluency is to follow along with text while listening to it being read aloud. The iPad has this capability, and students can access a definition or mark up text with ease to practice reading comprehension strategies. The iPad makes texts very accessible to students. They can access e-texts through the Fletcher Free Library or slowly growing school library and carry them all on one portable accessible device. It’s an exciting opportunity for increasing student engagement with text and supporting students’ learning needs. I look forward to continuing to learn about the opportunities iPads can offer to engage all learners.