How Are iPads Being Used In Today’s Classrooms?

Not so long ago, the main learning tool in any classroom was the blackboard and a sturdy piece of chalk. Perhaps a textbook or two. Nowadays, the scene has changed considerably. Walk into most modern classrooms, and you’re most likely to see the children using iPads to reinforce their learning. So, how are teachers incorporating this latest technology into their lessons?

During the 1980s, we first saw computers being introduced into schools. Back in those days, there may have been just one or two computers per school and classes would take turns to use this cutting edge technology. As we progressed through the 1990s, computer suites began to be introduced and as the Millennium turned, we saw laptops being brought into classrooms. However, today, it is the iPad which is the learning tool of choice. It can really change the way that pupils learn and interact with their subjects, but how are teachers adjusting their lesson plans to accommodate this new technology?

What Can An iPad Do?

If you’ve never used an iPad, you’re probably unaware of just how much these clever tablets can achieve. In fact, there seems to be almost nothing the iPad cannot do!

Students can word process with ease, make their own media presentations – the contemporary version of show and tell, find key information about their subject through the internet rather than having to visit the library, graph data in an electronic way and answer interactive quizzes independently to consolidate their learning. Even better, the iPad is fully portable and can be taken between classes – what’s not to like?

The iPad In Practise

If we take a look at a case in point of how a teacher can utilize the iPad to its full potential. Let’s assume we’re in a math class. How can the iPad help a class of students studying geometry to develop new skills and consolidate their understanding of their subject?

Let’s imagine the teacher wants the children to find an ideal geometric form which could be used for a submarine. Yes, that would be possible without an iPad, however when you actually have this tool at your fingertips, the breadth of learning and the independence of thought that the children can put into their project become much wider.

Students can go online to find out about the pressure under the sea at different depths that the submarine could dive to. They could research which is the strongest geometric form which could be used for a submarine. They could work in collaboration with others thanks to the portability of the iPad. They have access to a class network and so can ask their teacher any questions they may have, even when at home. They can watch expert lectures on iTunes U. Most importantly, they can upload their results to the school network so their knowledge can be shared with the other students. They can even graph the results which they have obtained and sketch examples of their own submarine design. Finally, they can create a presentation and present it to the class outlining their new knowledge.

Developing Thinking Skills

Most importantly, children have these key tools right at their fingertips so they can use their own creative thinking to decide which tool to use for which purpose. The result is to broaden the children’s range of skills that will stand them in good stead for a lifetime in the workplace.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics have stated in their principles, standards and expectations that a the latest technology should form an integral part of learning in the classroom today. By incorporating iPads into lessons, teachers can easily meet this standard.

Resolving The Issues

Of course, iPads in the classroom don’t come without their problems. Firstly, how do teachers resolve the problem of playing games on these devices rather than learning? The key to this lies in supervision and in the setting of such engaging work that children don’t feel the need to play in class time. Another problem which also needs resolving centers around protecting such delicate and fragile equipment from damage. Choosing the right protective cases is essential and Otterbox is clearly Apple’s biggest rival when it comes to finding the right cases for iPads for school use thanks to their sturdy design and useful inclusive stands which make classroom use so convenient.

The Bright Future of Drones and Unmanned Aerial Technologies

Quadcopter Drone ReviewsDrones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, as the name implies, is an aircraft that is unmanned by a human pilot; some of them are operated remotely by a human operator, or fully controlled by computers programmed within. Drones came into fame (or infamy) for its use in military operations, notably in the Middle East, in recent years. However, civilian owned and operated drones now outnumber military drones, with sales in the millions and counting. Civilian drones are most widely used in photography or video applications, taking advantage of some of the most technologically advanced cameras around. The complex engineering of drones ensures that they do not come cheap; however, newer, more affordable models are coming out that are within the range of hobbyists who want to get into drone photography; RotoCopters has a rundown on what the best drones are for you and your price range – it mainly depends on what you want to get out of your drone and its camera (for professionals such as those using drone photography for commercial purposes, they can head on to the Professional Camera section right here: http://www.rotorcopters.com/professional-camera-drones/). That being said, the possibilities of using civilian drones for purposes other than photography are endless. Here are just some of a few examples of how drones can be used in the future.

Search and Rescue Operations

Drones have been tested out on search and rescue operations; drones equipped with high-definition cameras have been and will continue to be used in the future. There is great potential for research and development in this field for drones, as it should lessen the loss of human casualties engaging in perilous search and rescue operations in the event of a calamity.

Pest Control

Drones as a pest control device? Absolutely. An enterprising firm in Louisiana has pioneered the use of drones with a thermal camera attachment to hunt for feral pigs that are causing widespread devastation to farms all over the state. How it works is that the drone provides a live feed to the exterminator; with the aid of night-vision goggles and the visual aid by the drone’s attachment, the exterminator’s work is made easier. Although there will always be ethical questions as to whether this is actually fair in the context of hunting, its effectiveness in thinning the feral hog population, which is a bane to many farmers, is promising.

Mail and Package Delivery

This is very distinct possibility in the future. Already efforts are underway for commercial use of drones in such iterations, such as beer delivery; a company in South Africa is pioneering an application that they say can deliver beer by drone within five minutes by the use of GPS positioning on the customer’s part, and the drone parachuting (no kidding) a cold one right on the customer’s hand. On the other hand, MIT is developing a light drone in order to be able to deliver medicine and other medical supplies to remote areas, or war-torn areas, lessening risk in the process.

Oil/Gas Pipeline Aerial Inspections

With the power of the cameras attached to drones, it is perhaps no surprise that drones are being slated to take over monitoring of miles and miles of oil and gas pipelines; this prevents the risk of oil spills, for which oil riggers are fined heavily for, from occurring in the first place. Relying on unmanned aerial vehicles also replaces much of the dangerous work that oil rig workers expose themselves to.

As you can plainly see, the possibilities are endless; although the question of regulatory approvals are daunting, it is only a matter of time before drones lead a revolution of unmanned aerial technology. The next wave of new technologies is right in front of us – what an interesting time to be alive.