The Impact of Smart Tablets on Early Childhood Education

"Let's go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday," is a quote by one of America's greatest inventors to date, Steve Jobs. I am confident that when he first made that statement he knew how powerful it was; however, now that he's dead I wonder if he realized just how powerful his inventions would one day become.

In 2010, the iPad was officially announced by Mr. Steve Jobs himself. It had been rumored for several years but no one ever really knew when the product would be announced, what it would be called and if it would be able to live up to the success of its forefather products such as: the iPod, the iPhone and even the iMac computer. Steve Jobs will never know just how successful the iPad has become nor will he know how the release of the product has revolutionized education as we know it.

Several years ago, many teachers began to experiment with using modern technology in their classrooms. Many parents got angry and caused a stir because they feared that using technology in the classroom would make students become so reliant on technology that they would never be able to appreciate the tangible educational resources many of us in earlier generations had grown accustomed to. Despite the backlash and push back, our country continues to see the growth in the usage of iPads and other tablets in the classroom. The use of technology has now practically become a staple in classrooms as iPads and other smart devices have proven to be a valuable asset to many teachers.

Aids Those with Learning Disability

While the proponents of using tablets in classrooms believe it can become a distraction, there are studies that suggest that it can be very beneficial to those dealing with cognitive development issues. In fact, Nonprofits like the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation have developed iPad apps that are specifically targeted at helping those who struggle with Autism.

Avoid the Use of Heavy Textbooks
As a child, I mostly loved school, but I hated carrying big, heavy, outdated textbooks. I hated that I had to carry around numerous books in my backpack that weighed me down and often times was not even needed while in class. The use of iPads and tablets helps eliminate this burden. Being able to utilize iPads and tablets gives teachers the opportunity to take full advantage of online textbooks that are constantly updated with the newest studies and facts.Digital tablets also provide teachers with other unique resources that do not put an additional burden on their student's backs (pun intended). In an effort to reduce loss and damage to student's tablets, there are storage solutions made to help schools store tablets during weekends and summer vacations. Not having to carry heavy backpacks while also not having to worry about losing or damaging iPads/tablets is really a dream come true for parents, teachers and students alike.

Interactive Communication
Not all students enjoy giving presentations or even raising their hands to answer questions. The use of iPads helps students who struggle with communicating in public by offering platforms that give them a chance to ask questions in public forums, answer questions in polls and interact with their classmates via chat when they may not have the confidence to speak directly to individuals.

Unlimited Resources

Have you ever heard the quote: "there's an app for that"? Well, that's actually true. There is an app for almost any and every thing that teachers and students want to do . Several teachers are taking advantage of this by offering students the opportunity to download apps that will help them as they discuss new topics inside the classroom

Easy to Use
The user-friendliness of iPads is one of the biggest reasons why teachers love using them so much. From my personal experience it eliminates the time teachers spend on explaining how to use tools and increases the amount of time they have to educate students

Are you a teacher who's grown fond of using iPads in the classroom? How have they helped you? Leave your comments below.