I used the link under Images and Sound ( http://ali.apple.com/ ) to explore the Apple products that can be incorporated into classrooms.  There is a lot that can be done with the numerous Apple products that exist today, but I focused on what could be done using iPads.  There was a link to the iTunes store that offered a lot of great apps that could be used for teaching a variety of subjects.  I want to teach English as a second language so I focused on the Language Development program.  They had apps under three different categories:  reading, vocabulary & grammar, and speaking & listening.  Dictionaries are also available to be downloaded.  Also, thinking back to what we’ve learned in class, iPads could be used for discussion postings and group collaboration.   

     In my ideal classroom setting, if I were to implement this technology, I would need for every student to have access to an iPad, preferably provided by the school to be shared by each classroom.  I would use the available programs to be downloaded to supplement my lessons and allow the students to learn and practice new skills using multiple methods.  For example, if I were working with my students on a particularly tough set of vocabulary, I could use an app for pronunciation where they could listen to and repeat the words for extra practice.  I would also like to incorporate programs that we have used in class like Classroom 2.0.  The students could submit postings introducing themselves to the classroom in English.  For this project, I would also need a projector and screen or smart board to review and discuss these postings in the class.  

     If I were working with an older, more advanced group of students, I would use one of the apps under the reading category for a group project.  In groups of about five, I would have them read a short story and then create their own in English.  Then, I would have them present their stories to the class, and possibly even have them act it out.  

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It's amazing all that you can accomplish with some of the devices and programs that are out there.  Getting to a place where technology isn't tied to a desk can really help students leverage more of the technology to their learning advantage.  It also helps that there are several free apps out there that could also be used.  The cost on your idea isn't unreasonable, but it's not cheap either.  At $400 per iPad, not inlcuding any for-cost apps, projector cost ($2000 to $4000), plus a few related items (cords, accessories,) - the price tag could easily reach $20,000 - for just one classroom.  This is one of the reasons why BYOD is so incredibly trendy now.  There are however lots of not-so-obvious issues with BYOD - It'd be like telling your students to 'pick up a literature text book' for class - and being OK with whatever one they choose.The classroom of the future (which yours will be part of) will be different - that's for sure.

Oh wow!! You are such a forward thinker!  I just saw an iPad for the first time this year it is crazy to think that at some point they could actually be that common.  Do you think though iPads would ever become like floppy disks?  Bring one to school with your name on it, if you don't have one, we have extras we can give you.  Isn't that a CRAZY idea but wouldn't it be so cool.  Of course by the time that happens, apple will of course discontinue the ipad and come out with something way cooler that of course we all need because they are maketing GENIUSES!!! 

I hope you get the chance to work with kids like that though, that would be real neat, just like a science fiction movie!

iPads are a great way (or other types of mobile devices) to integrate technology into the classroom - so long as it's not an end in itself.  Just like the pencil, chalkboard and wide-rule paper - it's a tool that can help students meet with success.  I'm in the process of reading John Spencer's Pencil Me In - a interesting read on how we might view the pencil as a revolutionary technology to hit education so many (many) years ago.



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