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The 21st Century of Education

The 21st Century of Education

An iPad case study looks into different the functions and applications designed for convenience of both students and teachers. By Samantha Gan Phui Yee (BMCC2014111)

“Far better at some key things,” as quoted by Steve Jobs in the keynote of the first iPad launch held on the 27th January 2010. Being the first tablet released by Apple, the iPad has benchmarked itself against other brands since the release date built with cutting-edge applications such as iSight camera, Touch ID and AirPlay functions. With the great advancement of tablet technology, the iPad has come into abundant usage in the education sector. This case study will explore a range of applications and accessibility in the iPad as a tool for education.

Text books, examination pads and stationeries are examples of traditional learning instruments. As education mediums develop, it is now possible for students to carry a tablet alone to school. Skipping heavy bags and the need to replace stationeries occasionally, the iPad includes applications such as iBooks and iTunes U. Both applications allow students to access e-books and learning materials either available online or prepared by their teachers conveniently. Looking at Essa Academy, students are to use the iPad as their learning medium from in-class tutorials to submission of homework and exam revisions via podcasts. Located outside Manchester, United Kingdom; it is one of institutions featured in the education profile of Apple.

With emergence of high resolution displays and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), students are able to comprehend information from the iPad with ease. McNaughton and Light (2013) recognises that AAC has made awareness in terms of social acceptance and usage from the introduction of the iPad. In relation, Pages and Numbers are introduced as applications for writing or constructing spreadsheets of tabulations. Keynote, nonetheless aid students in their presentations similar to the functions of Microsoft PowerPoint. Students are given room for creativity in arranging their topic with various keynote designs and transitions.

Consequently, it is agreeable that AAC facilitate students in creating exemplary work. These three applications classified under iWork by Apple, allow students to access and complete tasks given by their tutors instantly. Tutors on the other hand need not wait for the task due day to collect the work given but he or she can evaluate the homework by accessing online shared storage mediums such as DropBox or student submission websites provided by the school through the iPad.

Accessing applications such as iPhoto and iMovie, this help students in activities that requires viewing and simple editing on the go. Things can be done instantly within the iPad and there is no need for students to switch from tangible materials to a photo or video editing software on the computer. GarageBand however, serves the purpose of playing musical instruments and recording tunes. Being able to create music with numerous conventional instruments such as piano, guitar and drum within the application will certainly innovate current conventions and genre of music which in return will be practiced by young upcoming musicians.

The iPad does not lack in accessibility as well. It has been observed as a device that also functions for people with disabilities. Features such as VoiceOver help users with vision disabilities hear verbalized description and mono audio can be activated for users with hearing disabilities in the iPad. Ellis (2011) agreed on the effectiveness of the iPad on children with disabilities as it is designed to attract interactivity and mobility. In such way, every child can have the opportunity to learn and grow.

As more learning applications develop, the education sector will eventually transit into a new learning experience for students. McLuhan (1964) states that it is the medium that directs how human perceive information. From revising textbooks and jotting down notes on a notebook, it is slowly turning to e-books, podcasts and typing in the note app. Thus, it is definitely a stepping stone in regarding the iPad as the medium for education. With all the integrated applications and compatibility, it is undeniable that this technological revolution will take place in the knowledge industry worldwide.

References

Apple. (2010). Apple Launches iPad. 27th January 2010. [Online] Available at: http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2010/01/27Apple-Launches-iPad.html. [Accessed: 7th August 2015]

Ellis, S. (2011). Teaching the Future. Screen Education. [Online] 63. pp. 60-64. Available at: www.ebscohost.com. [Accessed: 7th August 2015]

McLuhan, M. (1964). Chapter 1, The Medium Is The Message. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Mc-Graw Hill.

McNaughton, D. & Light, J. (2013). The iPad and Mobile Technology Revolution: Benefits and Challenges for Individuals who require Augmentative and Alternative Communication. AAC: Augmentative & Alternative Communication. [Online] 29. 2. pp. 107-116. Available at:

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www.ebscohost.com. [Accessed: 7th August 2015]

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