IPads in the classroom: The right way to use them, demonstrated by a Swiss school
Photo by Frederick Florin/Getty Images Touch-screen tablets for young students have become all the rage. Some districts are even buying iPads for every kindergartner, a move sparking both celebration and consternation. Do we really want to give $500 devices to kids who can’t even tie their shoes? What are these schools doing with these devices, anyway? Last month, I had a rare opportunity to ask those questions at a school in Zurich, Switzerland. ZIS, as the school is called, has distributed 600 iPads—one to every student in first through eighth grades, plus a set for teachers in preschool and kindergarten to use with children in small groups. I was wrong. The school has an unconventional take on the iPad’s purpose. One morning I watched first-graders taking assessments of what they understood about “systems.” Sam Ross, a second-grade teacher at ZIS, sees real potential in moments like this.
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