Technology has evolved to become a large part of our everyday lives and, in order to help children thrive in this technological era, Computing has become a core subject in primary school education.
The computing curriculum can be taught discreetly, but the best way to ensure you cover the entire curriculum is to introduce technology into other subject areas – and an iPad is the ideal piece of technology to do this.
Below, I’m going to list 110 reasons to use the iPad in your classroom.
- Library in the Classroom
An iPad can give children access to thousands of books across many fields of interest. Apps such as Me Books house an array of books for children of all ages.
- Engage Reluctant Learners
Many reluctant learners (particularly reluctant writers) will be more engaged when ICT is incorporated as an alternative, helping them to produce more work.
- Use Less Resources
Rather than having to use a ton of books and/or worksheets and the having to stick said worksheets into the books, an iPad app will allow your children to complete an activity with nothing more than the device and the app.
- Enhance a subject
When studying a topic such as Ancient Greece or Space, there are many apps such as Kids History Atlas or Space Journey that can really enhance a child’s learning by making them more engaged with the subject. Most apps have colourful characters and different activities which really bring a subject to life for the children.
- Computing is a core subject
Since Computing has become a core subject in the primary school curriculum, having iPads in the classroom allow you to incorporate ICT into different subjects and cover the mandatory Computing curriculum whilst doing so.
- Embrace the future
iPads are the present but will also be extremely popular in the future, so mastering them now will make it easier to master any future developments or technologies associated with the iPad that you have to use in the classroom.
- Huge number of apps
There is literally an app for every subject on the curriculum so you can always find something to use. This essentially means you could have a dozen apps associated with a dozen different subjects on one iPad – saving you the trouble of storing and using a ton of different textbooks.
- AFL Options
When used in a certain way, apps such as Plickers can be a powerful AFL tool. Just by scanning the room with your device, you can quickly record a response from every pupil regarding their feelings about the work.
- An alternative way to mark
Some apps, such as Showbie, can be used as an alternative to traditional marking systems. You can take a photograph of a group of children working and leave a question for them and feedback. Children then log-in and all record their response, giving you a huge bank of evidence with a fraction of the work.
- Easy internet access
The internet is a powerful tool and is useful for any research based lesson. Having iPads in the classroom gives children instant access to the internet.
AirServer is a fantastic tool which will project your iPad screen onto the interactive whiteboard. This way you can show children how to use an app or you can even turn the iPad into a visualizer by accessing the camera and holding it over a piece of work or a worksheet.
- Speaking and Listening Skills
As the iPad can record video and audio, you can use it to help children develop their speaking and listening skills. Furthermore, apps such as PuppetPals HD allow children to create their own productions in which they voice the characters which can really bring any scriptwriting session to life.
- Scanning QR Codes
QR Codes are a great tool to display large quantities of information in a small space and you can then give children access to this information by letting them scan the QR Code with their iPad.
- Smaller than laptops
Laptops take up a lot of space on the table and you can’t always see the children behind them, but iPads are a lot smaller and a lot more practical.
- Long battery life
Whereas a laptop battery generally only lasts 2-3 hours, an iPad will only need to be charged once every 2-3 days.
- Record Video
You can record video with an iPad which will allow you to capture evidence in drama, P.E. and other more practical subjects.
- Teaching Video on the Table
Alternatively, you can record your own video on the iPads (i.e. demonstrating column addition) and the children can have the iPad on their table so they can access the short video as often as they need to during a lesson.
- Access to Audio
Children can play MP3 sounds on their iPads which can be a great tool to use when asking children to imagine the sound of a jungle or ocean when writing a setting description. Simply download the audio onto the iPad and let the children play it to enhance their writing.
- Quick Activities
There are hundreds of iPad apps which provide quick, short activities that children could complete as a starter activity.
- They’re Durable
Despite being small, iPads are surprisingly durable and are less likely to break (in my opinion) than a laptop.
- Wide Appeal
As iPads have so many different apps to choose from, you can often find an app which will appeal to everyone in the class regardless of their age, culture, interests or gender.
- Capturing Evidence
As I’ve indicated, iPads can be used to capture evidence in different ways. You can record video, take a photograph or simply ask the children to complete their written work on an iPad.
- Presentation Based Apps
Rather than showing the children a slideshow on the interactive whiteboard, use the iPad to give the children a copy of the slideshow. Apps such as ShowMe and NearPod allow the children to see the presentation on their iPad and move through it with you. You can even include questions for them to answer during the presentation and the results will be recorded for you.
- EAL Benefits
Having worked with EAL children quite extensively, I can tell you that having quick access to an iPad with translating software is extremely beneficial when trying to communicate with a child who doesn’t have a strong command of your language.
- Make Music
With apps such as Garage Band, you don’t have to master a musical instrument to make amazing music. This app can enhance any music lesson and encourage children who don’t play an instrument to become more involved in the lesson.
- Easy Tweeting
A lot of schools like to Tweet to communicate with parents and promote the school. The Twitter app can allow you to do this quickly and easily with an iPad.
- Animate Anything
Animation is a great way to enhance a science or English lesson (and is in the Computing Curriculum.) Having an iPad with iMovie or StopMotionStudio will give children access to animation software in the classroom.
- Artistic Flair
Art is a subject which some children naturally excel at and some children naturally struggle with. However, the iPad has a lot of different art-based apps (including ArtStudio and Sketches among others) which can help children to develop their interest in art and enable them to create artwork regardless of their natural ability.
As coding is a large part of the computing curriculum, it’s important that children are given access to the best software. There are several apps such as Daisy the Dinosaur, LightBot and Kodable which can teach children about coding and help them progress through the curriculum.
- Class Dojo
As a behaviour management tool, Class Dojo is a great way to reward positive behaviour. Each child chooses a monster to represent them and then you can allocate their monster a point whenever they behave well or achieve a target. It’s a popular behaviour management tool which has been used successfully in a lot of schools.
- Too Noisy
Whilst Class Dojo highlights good behaviour, Too Noisy is used to let a class know when they’re being too loud. Children can see their noise level rising on the screen (complete with animation) and thus will know when they need to be quieter as a class.
- Instant Timetable
There are a lot of apps which you can use to record a timetable. This can be particularly useful for disorganised children or SEN children who want to feel secure and visualise their routine.
A lot of people don’t like using iPads because they don’t have Microsoft Word on them, but Pages is an app which generally offers the same features as Microsoft Word so that children can create documents in the classroom.
- Access to YouTube
YouTube is the world’s most popular video-sharing site and is full of educational videos. Children can have access to these videos through the YouTube app on the iPad.
- World Clock
Children can use the Clock app to learn to tell the time and also see the different time zones around the world, giving context in a geography lesson.
- Green Screening
Letting children record a news report about Ancient Rome is a fun activity. However, it’s even more fun when using a green screen to project an image of Ancient Rome onto the wall behind them. There are several green screen apps that will allow you to project any image you want onto a green screen (which can be built for free using green paper.)
- Augmented Reality
Whilst scanning QR Codes is becoming more popular in education, augmented reality has taken the idea a step further. Children scan targets and can then view a 3D moving image on the iPad i.e. apps such as Spacecraft 3D give children control of their very own space rover. This is a powerful and engaging tool to have in any classroom.
- Calculators and Dice
When given resources such as dice, children tend to lose them or clutter their desk. However, an iPad has apps which can give children access to virtual dice or a virtual calculator eliminated the problem of losing the equipment.
- They’re Fun!
iPad apps are educational and challenging but are also often fun to use as they’re presented like a game. This will encourage children to use the apps more frequently (including during wet playtimes) so they’re constantly learning.
- General Knowledge Apps
Whilst we have to teach a specific curriculum, there are a lot of apps which can help children to develop their general knowledge. I regularly let children in my class use Flag Quiz which has given them an exceptional knowledge of flags around the world.
- Visualize Measurement and Weight
Teaching measurement, weight or capacity can be a challenging and messy experience but there are a ton of apps which children can use to visualise and alter the measurements without having to get a lot of equipment out.
- Capitalizing on Existing Skills
A lot of children have iPads at home and are very comfortable using them so giving them access to iPads in the classroom will ensure they work quickly because they’re already skilled with the devices.
- Virtual Learning Environments
A lot of VLE’s are becoming iPad compatible so children can access them easily in the classroom.
- Easy to Install new Apps
Whilst installing new software on a computer can be a lengthy process, installing a new app on an iPad normally takes less than 2 minutes.
- Import Anything onto the Server
You can import any evidence gathered or any completed work onto the school server so that it can be presented to SLT or in any progress meetings. There is software to help with this but you can also quickly log in to your e-mail account and e-mail yourself the documents or simply use a USB cable to import the work.
- Individual User Accounts
A lot of apps encourage children to create their own user accounts. This means you can ask children to use different activities within an app tailored to their needs and will also have a record of their individual progress.
Ofsted also recommends that children have their own log-in accounts for most devices, so the option to create individual user accounts with most apps is useful from an e-safety point of view.
- SEN Benefits
Many SEN children feel comfortable using iPads and are engaged when using them. However, there are also apps, such as Brain Jump, that are designed to develop cognitive ability and memory, helping SEN children to develop key skills they can then use in other subject areas.
- Less Time Wasted
Whilst powering a computer on and logging in can take a few minutes, it literally takes seconds using an iPad.
Depending on the schools policies, you may want to communicate directly with other schools from around the world. Apps like Skype and Facetime allow you to do this safely from within the classroom.
- Create an App
There is a lot of software which children can use to create an app, however, it’s even more rewarding when children can then use their newly created app in the classroom.
Meraki is a system which will enable you to “push” newly installed apps out onto every iPad at once, saving you the time of installing them individually.
- Data Logging
As part of the computing curriculum, children have to use data loggers and examine data. There are iPad apps (such as pedometers) which children can use to measure data without having to use a lot of equipment.
- Upskilling Yourself
Technology is becoming more prominent in everyday life and having an iPad which you regularly use in the classroom will help you become more proficient when using this technology.
- Multi-Lingual Apps
A lot of apps are multi-lingual so EAL children can access the learning as well.
- Learn a Language
Apps such as Duolingo provide children with a programme to follow that will help them learn a new language. This is a great asset for any children to have in an MFL lesson or to use as part of an extra-curricular club.
- Innovative Apps
Developers are constantly creating new apps which means you’ll always have access to an array of constantly developing resources.
Apps such as Photobooth allow children to take photographs with different lenses and in different colours, allowing them to create some very artistic effects.
- Google Earth
The Google Earth app is a great way to help children learn about the world and the local area. Children can view the world through satellite imagery and see 3D streets anywhere in the world, as well as local landmarks and street names. It’s also useful for researching the local area and drawing maps.
- Fine Motor Skills
As the iPad encourages children to use the fingers to type, move and resize objects, it’s constantly helping them to develop their fine motor skills.
- No Copying and Pasting
When children are given access to the internet for research, they often just copy and paste the information without really understanding it. However, it’s a lot more awkward for them to do that on an iPad so they’ll have to read and process the information before typing it up themselves.
- Class Trips
Taking an iPad on a class trip will allow you to take videos and photographs as well as to Tweet throughout the day.
- Apps are Cheap
Buying software for a computer will generally cost you a lot of money, however, the average app is normally only a couple of pounds so you can buy a lot more with your budget.
- Useful Notifications
As a teacher, you’re always thinking about several tasks at once, but having an iPad will give you access to an organizer that you can customize to provide you with a bulletin whenever you have a deadline approaching.
- Quizzing Apps
Giving the children a quiz is a useful way of consolidating their learning and there are a lot of apps for each subject which will provide this quiz for you. Certain apps will also allow the children to create their own quiz.
Giving each child an iPad can help give them a sense of ownership and responsibility which will help them mature and can lead to improved behaviour.
- Differentiated iPads
If every child has an iPad, you can choose which apps to put onto certain iPads which will allow you to differentiate the devices. Using Meraki, you can also “push” apps out onto a class set of iPads, meaning EYFS apps won’t be pushed out onto Year 6 iPads and vice versa.
- Less Wiring
Using iPads will ensure there is less wiring in the room because they don’t require a mouse, monitor, keyboard or power cables.
- Creating e-Books
Children enjoy writing stories but you can take this one step further using an iPad. There are plenty of apps, such as Picture Book, which allow children to create their own e-Book. They often have images included as well so that the children can create professional looking books to share with the class.
iPads look slicker than laptops or computers and (in my opinion) look a lot neater and more technologically advanced when used in a classroom.
- Creating Charts/Diagrams/Graphs
Using apps like Kidspiration, children can create incredible diagrams, charts and graphs. For example, when creating a Venn diagram on Kidspiration, children can customize the size of the diagram, label it and then choose images (from a lot of categories) into the diagram – leaving them with a neat and colourful piece of work.
Just like Microsoft Word, apps such as Notes and Pages have a built-in spellchecker.
- Safari Speed
The iPad uses an app called Safari as its default internet browser and it nearly always has extremely fast loading times so the children can access information quickly.
- Class based storage
Whereas laptop trolleys are often huge, iPads are normally stored in small charging containers so that they can be kept in the classroom, giving the children instant access to them.
- No Double Booking
As the iPads can be stored in the classroom, there is no chance of double booking the ICT Suite and thus having to rearrange your lesson.
- Popular Children’s Characters
A lot of apps are designed to include popular children’s TV characters. Apps such as CBeeBies Playtime are extremely popular because they appeal to younger children because the activities are narrated by characters such as The Octonauts. This can help children become more engaged in the activity they’re working on.
- Password Protect
You can add a password to the iPad so that children can’t access the settings. This allows you to control the volume and prevent them from accessing the App Store among other things.
- Locking the App
Aside from adding a password, a lot of apps give you the option to lock children into the activity. This means they can’t exit the app and secretly go onto another activity without permission and ensures they remain on task throughout the lesson.
An aspect of technology which is seriously overlooked is the inclusion of podcasts into lessons. Using an iPad, you can let children listen to podcasts by expert speakers to enhance their knowledge or even let them create their own podcasts discussing the topic they’ve been learning about.
- Memory Capabilities
Whilst not as large as a laptop or computer, an iPad still has a large enough memory that you can download a lot of apps and store a lot of photographs and videos on the device without running out of space.
- You Can Print
This may not be an advantage over laptops or computers, but it’s just relevant to point out that you can connect an iPad to a print and print directly from it.
- Multi-Sensory Approach
Most apps will require children to use a multi-sensory approach when completing an activity. They’re often very visual, have an educational audio or narrator and require the children to use their hands to complete them thus benefiting auditory, visual and kinaesthetic learners.
- Different Activities With Apps
Whereas a textbook will give children a page of questions and a diagram showing a solution and/or method, an iPad app will often have various activities built into it. This is beneficial because it enables children to find an approach they’re comfortable with when learning i.e. one activity might be a timed quiz testing times tables whilst another may be identifying the missing number in a times table sum. Two approaches that teach children the same times table within one app.
- Easier than Typing
Having taught the Computing curriculum to Years 1 and 2, I can tell you honestly that they find using an iPad a lot easier than using a keyboard and mouse.
Whilst a computer may allow children to upload a photograph of themselves and then edit it by drawing over it or adding layers, apps such as Aging Booth are far more interactive. Children can upload a photograph of themselves and then watch as the app ages them, adding wrinkles and morphing their face to show them an elderly version of themselves.
- They’re a Revision Pack
Whenever it’s exam period, we give the children countless booklets to take home and revise. However, you can achieve the same result with a few iPad apps and, on top of that, the apps will have more activities than a revision pack can hold.
- Multiplayer Apps
Apps such as Monster Math have multiplayer compatibility so children can still develop their cooperation and team working skills whilst using the iPad. Multiplayer can also help to foster a competitive spirit between the children and encourage them to constantly improve.
- Instant Feedback
Normally, children won’t discover whether their work was correct or incorrect until the next lesson but with iPad apps their feedback is instant as the app will let them know their results straight away.
Many apps, especially phonics based apps, require children to trace letters using their finger. This can help them to understand how to form letters correctly and improve their handwriting.
- Spices Up Guided Reading
Many children see guided reading as a boring task wherein they sit and read a book to an adult. However, most e-books are interactive with sound effects and animated characters, helping the children to feel more enthused about their reading session.
- Teaching Phonics
Phonics is a key subject for EYFS and KS1 children. There are many exceptional phonics apps which can help them to read, write and speak different phonemes and words.
- Easy to Customise Settings
Whereas altering the settings on a computer can be a time-consuming task and often requires an administration password, the settings tab on an iPad makes altering them quick and easy.
- A World of Imagery
Access to the internet means children can find imagery on Google Images quickly. This can help inspire them during English and art lessons.
- Interactive Books
As indicated above, most e-books are interactive and have quizzes and comprehension based questions built-in. This ensures your children are constantly developing their comprehension skills even if they’re not working with an adult.
- Major textbooks are becoming digital
Schools generally buy their textbooks from the same companies every year and those companies are all embracing the technological revolution and offering digital services as well.
- Benefits the School
Technology is becoming more and more important in education but some schools are still reluctant to embrace this evolution. Adopting iPads across different year groups and subjects will ensure your school remains up-to-date and impress visiting schools and Ofsted.
- Easy to Move Around/position
If you decide you want to move children around the room or split up a pair of chatty children, they can carry the iPad to another seat with minimum effort.
- Quick iOS updates
Laptops and computers take a long time to update but the iPad updates quickly and quite often, meaning you always have the best service possible.
- Energy Efficiency
As they don’t need to be charged as often as laptops or plugged in like computers, iPads are more energy efficient to have in school.
- No need to replace textbooks
When textbooks are ruined or simply out-of-date the school has to order a replacement set. However, if you’re using iPad apps that constantly update and offer a wide range of activities anyway, then you won’t have to worry about replacing them. Plus, whenever you do need to replace an app, it’s quick and easy to find another one on the App Store.
- Mash-up Music
As I’ve mentioned, you don’t need to be a musical genius to produce music using an iPad, as many apps will provide the sound of an instrument for you. However, you can also use an iPad to mash-up music and produce different sound effects.
- Social Media
Social media is a terrifying prospect for some teachers, but having your class update their own Facebook Page (monitored by you and with the correct privacy settings) can be a useful way to teach them about communicating with people online.
Giving children an iPad gives them instant access to news from around the world. Using the news app can be a powerful tool to help children understand the world around them.
- Children can troubleshoot their own
Whilst children still ask for help when a computer crashes or doesn’t seem to be working, a lot of them are comfortable troubleshooting an iPad because they’ve encountered similar problems at home.
- Free apps
Buying new software or ordering new books is always costly but the iPad has a bunch of fantastic apps that you can use without spending a penny.
- Polling students and parents
If you want to know what the parents think about the school or want complete stakeholder feedback, you can use an iPad to gather results. Even better, you can use it to take a poll of the opinions of the students in your school regarding their confidence in a lesson or thoughts on the school itself.
You can record videos of the children in P.E. lessons and then use these videos to show the children how to improve or as evidence in progress meetings. There are also apps, such as P.E. Games, that offer a wide range of activities to try in P.E. and make planning your lessons easier.
- Having Expert Teachers Teach
If you have a teacher who is an expert in French, they could make a video of themselves introducing an activity for a French lesson and then other teachers could play that video in their own French lesson. This way, you can utilise the strengths of your staff and also have an expert introduce every lesson.
- Access to Cloud
Most people don’t use a folder on their computer to save work anymore, they upload everything to Cloud storage instead because there’s more space. You can access Cloud storage using an iPad.
- Social Well-Being
There are several apps children can use to access social stories and activities designed to develop their social and emotional well-being.
So there you have it, 110 reasons for you to introduce the iPad into your classroom. Hopefully, you’ve found some a few ideas that inspire you to take the plunge and embrace technology across the curriculum. It’s a great way to engage reluctant learners and enrich learning in any subject.