As my iPad survey for teachers is in full swing and I am getting to talk to a whole bunch of teachers with different levels of comfort with the iPad and technology in general, I am struck by the prevalent feeling amongst the teachers that they need to be using the iPad for the sake of using the iPad when they cannot see how it fits into their lessons.
Now this is dismaying to me as I have always thought of technology as a tool- you use it when it makes your life easier to use it. For example, my husband boasts he can open a bottle of wine with his shoe. My argument for that (besides the fact that I don’t want his shoe near my bottle of wine) is why use a shoe when we have a corkscrew? Same with the iPad and teaching- use it when it enhances your lessons. When the task you have to do is made simpler by the device.
I would add this codicil, though: just because you can’t see how it could be useful to your class, doesn’t mean it isn’t. Take the time (I know, I know. That is the commodity nobody seems to have) to see how the iPad could fit into your lesson.
Here is an excellent chart from teachbytes outlining the difference between simply using technology and integrating technology into your classroom: