This article reveals varying opinions on the effectiveness of iPads in a Harkness classroom, based on a pilot at Exeter.
Some excerpts are here:
  • Johnny Griffith and the seniors in his English 410 class participated in a pilot project to test the use of the iPad in the classroom.
  • Meg Foley and the seniors in her history elective, Capitalism and Its Critics, joined the experiment.

  • The project posed [larger] questions: What is the place of technology in the Harkness classroom? Does it facilitate learning or is it a distraction? Can it become part of the Harkness conversation?

  • Educational apps continue to mushroom, with estimates putting current availability at more than 20,000

  • [One teacher] was able to save paper by creating PDF files and distributing reading assignments digitally

  • Receiving student papers digitally and marking them on the iPad using a stylus was another plus

  • [One student] admits that out of class, she used a laptop to write her papers

  • "I found the iPad to be a distraction"

  • The pilot project demonstrated the importance of both context and subject matter in the application of this technology.

  • "[I think] having tablets and smartphones in the classroom detracts from the personal interaction."

  • "Because students can access information quickly, they don’t have to spend time on recall. There’s the potential to create a richer discussion."

  • "The generation of today’s students—’digital natives’—will use smart devices whether you support it or not. It’s best to find a way to make their use a learning experience, so it’s not a distraction."

Posted from Diigo.