iPads in the classroom: Are iPads improving behaviour?
Two of the schools I am currently working with have both implemented a similar iPod Touch & iPad rollout: There is a class set of iPads available for all classes to use, and the year 5 & 6 pupils all have an iPod Touch each, to use in the classroom.
The devices are used purely to support ICT across the curriculum, and there are no non-educational apps on the devices.
Pupils are using iPads in the classroom just like any other tool that they would have to support their learning, and they are given the freedom to use the devices in anyway that they wish in the pursuit of learning (within reason!).
The instant access to information has made a remarkable difference in the classroom, where pupils have begun to start researching he answers to their own questions, before asking the teacher.
Pupils are also recording their learning in a systematic way, using a range of apps on the ipods, such as the camera for film and still images or using an notemaking app, then pupils are manipulating their content into the shape of iBooks, or video/presentational slideshows. In effect their iPod Touch has become their ePortfolio (remember when they were all the rage?!) of their learning.
One of the unintentional consequences that has arisen is the change in low-level disruptive behaviour in the classroom. All of the teachers I am working with have reported a significant drop in low-level disruptive behaviour. Whilst pinpointing a reason for this might not be so easy, it occurred to me that those pupils who sometimes display this behaviour often do so when they have run out of activity, or may be waiting their turn for support from the teacher. It would seem that pupils with the iPod touch can immediately focus their attention on their iPod and use it to either find the answer to their question, or use any number of the other facilities until the teacher becomes available, minimising the opportunity for children to become disengaged.