Students are seated at tables that are arranged in a circle instead of at individual desks, which enables them to interact with each other. The teachers’ desk is actually side by side with student tables, instead of off in some corner of the room, which makes the teacher more available to the students. All of the iPads are in one location and are easily accessible to the students. The tables are arranged so everyone can see what is projected on the screen. Mr. Mitchell explained that the iPads are assigned to the tables so the students move around but not the iPads. This allows students to work with different people and prevents them from getting bored or frustrated with each other. The thing that is prevalent throughout the entire video is how students collaborate with each other and help each other. Even though students were paired together, they were still involved in what the other groups were doing. When one student discovered something, he/she would share it with anyone close by.
2. In the video, Mr. Mitchell mentions that he would prefer to have an iPad for each student. How might this change the way teaching and learning occurs in the classroom? Cite at least one pro and one con in your response.
One obvious difference is that all of the students would be able to work on the iPads at the same time and no one would be waiting for the other person to finish. Although the students worked together cooperatively, there usually was a “driver” and a “passenger”. If everyone had their own iPad, they would all be “drivers”. Mr. Mitchell seemed to have a solution for this problem though; he said in the beginning of the video that during writing time, half the students write with the iPad and the other half write on paper. I actually think this is a good thing because it adds variety and allows students to complete their work two different ways. Another difference with everyone having their own iPad is that there would be more independent working instead of collaborative working. This could be good or bad depending on the student. Students who need more help completing their assignments benefit from working with someone else but students who prefer to work alone would probably rather have their own. One of the girls in the video said she thought it was better to share the iPad because she had her own ideas and so did her partner and when they put their ideas together they came up with more accurate information. On the other hand, two boys being interviewed felt that sharing was difficult when it came playing games and one of them his personal opinion was that it was easier to work on math problems alone. I can see how some kids might not like sharing or get too absorbed in what they are doing that they have trouble relinquishing control, but I can also know that sharing teachers everyone how to compromise.
3. How would you describe the students' attitudes toward using iPads?
These students seem to really enjoy using the iPads. They were extremely engaged in what they were working on and worked surprisingly well with each other. When students were interviewed they were very eager to explain what they were working on and show you how they were doing it. When students were asked how they would feel if there were no iPads to use, one girl said she wouldn’t be happy and a boy said he thought it would take longer to get work done and it probably wouldn’t be as accurate. There seemed to be a general…