Today’s introduction of the iPad Mini has educators and app developers excited about the potential that awaits schoolchildren of all ages. Providing a safe and secure interactive environment, the Mini provides an intuitive learning experience on a device weighing just over a half pound.
Education app developers are already producing amazing applications for the device. Parents and kids love apps like Stack the States which makes a game out of learning geography and the PicPocket Book series that helps with reading comprehension. Apps like these made for the previous versions of the iPad will not require any modification to run on the Mini.
The iPad has already produced great results in the classroom, and the Mini’s smaller size and lower price point will make these revolutionary learning tools more accessible to children across the country. Students may soon enjoy the successes currently realized in these communities:
• Auburn, Maine: iPad improves kindergarteners’ literacy scores
• Hobart, Indiana: Apps help students, teachers learn in real time
• Flagler County, Florida: Flagler Schools IT department designs classroom apps
• Grand Island, Nebraska: Tablet technology booms in the classroom
• Farmington, Minnesota: iPads for Farmington Students
• And in special education settings: Sixty Minutes: Apps for Autism.
With great enthusiasm shown by educators and school administrators for education tablets, the only thing that could stand between children eager to learn, and the devices that make this easier, is misguided regulation. Hopefully government agencies recognize what educators have already discovered: touchscreen devices present an intuitive, interactive learning environment that has been shown to dramatically improve student performance. We are beginning to see academic improvements spread to classrooms around the country, and regulators should take great care to avoid measures that would prevent students from benefiting from these innovative new learning devices.