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I'm meeting with the director of special services on Monday to discuss the possibility of purchasing iPads for our elementary school. They would primarily be for collaborative/inclusion classrooms, but available for anyone to use. I don't have one (yet!) but I've read so much about the benefits of the iPad for both spec and gen ed students. I was hoping to get some feedback - positives/negatives, experiences with elementary students, notable apps, etc. Any comments are welcome! Many thanks.

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Check out @tsherwood a Principal in Singapore introducing iPads into early years. http://chatseast.posterous.com/

And I also have a few posts about using iPod Touches in early years http://www.edutechniques.com

Not very deep but just plain old experiential stories from the front line!
I just wrote a local grant for 2 iPads for my special needs classroom with 8 cross categorical students. 3 of my students are currently using AAC devices. From what I've read, there are endless possibilities to the iPad in the class AND it can be used as a much cheaper version of a communication device ($499 vs. thousands of dollars)!

Here are some of the links I used in my grant-

http://spicylearning.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/how-to-set-up-class-i...

http://www.techradar.com/news/computing/apple/75-really-useful-ipad...

http://www.ipodsibilities.com/iPodsibilities/Home.html

If you find more information or use the iPad before we do, I would love to hear your feedback.
Thank you! I just learned that Apple has added a Special Education section to their App Store.

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/apple_adds_special_education_s...

I love how they are adding new things everyday. What a wonderful resource. Good luck with the school year!
I'm interested in using the i-Pad in my middle school. It maybe my one "electronic device" per student proposal. Instead of laptops. I have also read quite a bit about thier use in the corporate world.

I teach at a 1:1 school.  I'm trying to figure out how iPads are better than Macbooks.  We use Macbook to create and I fail to see how the iPad is a tool that allows students to create... but I'm very unfamiliar with them.

 

 

You are very lucky to be in a 1:1 school with Macbooks! We only have 2 Dell desktops in our classroom, and this can be very limiting. I believe that you can't compare computers and iPads though. The iPad is not meant to be a replacement for a laptop, and I think each has its own benefits and limitations.  However, there are thousands of lowcost/free apps that are available for educational purposes, and many of these allow students to create, collaborate, and share their work.

If the iPad is cost-prohibitive, you might want to look into getting rooted Nooks. They have functionality nearly identical to a first-generation iPad, but are only $250. Here are the details.

 

Good luck!

Katy Scott

Stretch Your Digital Dollar

My suggestion: Go with the iPad. My three year old nephew works his way around the iPad naturally. Your students will pick this up and run with it.

 

Now with the camera and microphone you will be able to assign really fun and creative projects. The music and art apps are absolutely amazing.

 

I'm jealous. You are about to have a great time. Enjoy!

In my opinion one of the most notable apps for the Ipad would be dragon dictation. This allows students who have difficulties typing to use a speak to text program. Our elementary students have been using it in the classroom this year and it has really been great. We also use many of the educational apps like solitaire on our smartboard to help foster logical thinking. There are many logic puzzles as well as science apps that have been resourceful in my math and science classes.

I have an ipad for my personal use and I love the look and feel of it.  However, my school district is pc-based.  The ipad does not have Flash, which we use for  most educational games, or a usb port.

I am looking into other tablets for elementary ed, some are in the $200-$300 range as opposed to the ipad $500-$600.

Any suggestions?

I know this post is much later than the rest had written, but we deployed a set of 30 iPads to use between our lowest two reading groups this past year.  We are currently crunching numbers, but our action research data is promising.  Our goal was to see if we could measurably improve scores in fluency, comprehension, sight word recognition, and vocabulary.  We present to our school board on June 13th, 2011, and plan to publish our findings in several places.  If you're interested in keeping up with our results, I'm @S_Getting on twitter!
We just received a set of 30 iPads for our classroom as of June 1st! My coteacher and I are piloting the first iPad implementation in our school next year, so this month is pretty much a trial period before the summer. I would love to know more about what you used to track data and what apps you felt work best for reading. Good luck with your presentation!

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