Posted: Jun 20, 2012 12:13 AM
I have a newly graduated kindergartner and another little guy starting kindergarten this fall. I can tell you that they both absolutely adore playing on my iPad. To be quite honest, they can usually navigate that expensive piece of equipment better than I can. These little tech savvy people nowadays amaze me.
There are now some kindergarten teachers who are choosing to use iPads for their students over workbooks, computer labs, and paper tablets. As you can imagine, there are some parents who like the idea and others who do not. I guess the proof is in the learning. A study of kindergarteners in Auburn, Maine showed that students who use iPads score better in every literacy test than those who don't. If kids can concentrate better and thus learn more because of this high tech devices then it's hard to dispute the evidence. They can be amazing educational tools.
Another concern raised is the cost incurred by the school. Digital Kindergarten discusses the cost breakdown proving that iPads really are not that much more expensive than normal school supplies used throughout the year. A $600/each iPad is lasting 3 years so that breaks down to $200 per student. $40/student in workbooks is saved as well as another $50 in teacher supplies (markers, boards, ect.). The computer lab is then scaled down because many of the computer lab activities can be used on the iPad. Many teachers are saying that the upfront cost of the tablets are a wash when you account for the savings in other areas.
Again, for me it comes down to the efficiency of the device as a learning tool. If I see positive results then I'm all for it! Lined paper, #2 pencils, and chalk boards worked for our generation but how lucky are our children to have the availability of resources to experiment with what works best for them.