A) What is your favourite thing about the iPad?
NOTE: As this was an open-ended question, I grouped the answers into some broad categories. However, I thought it would be helpful to hear what the students said in their own words about a few of the points in order to get a more nuanced view of the data:
“[My favourite thing is] the little brain it has that it can do almost anything you ask it to.”
“My favourite thing is that it has a lot of things you can do on it but it is not as bulky as a computer.”
“I like how we use pages instead of writing by hand, I also like that there is apps for a lot of things we do, eg. Periodic table for science.. .I like how you can read books on the ipad.”
“I like how light it is and how easy it is to put in your back pack.”
“It is light and portable and really easy to access stuff because of the apps and easy to use.”
” I like how it is small and easy to carry around.”
“I like it because when I get paper I lose the paper but with the ipad it is easier to stay organised. Also my handwriting is terrible so when I type I can read what I am doing. I also like the games.”
“[I like how] you can read off ibooks if you forget your paper schoolwork and need it.”
” I like how it is organised and I am not losing papers. Everything is on my ipad.”
Other interesting comments:
“I like writing on it, it is faster than doing it on a piece of paper. i like how it is small and easy to carry around.”
” I like how we take notes on it for science class. I like how we do projects on it.”
“It is easy to bring places. I find I learn new something everyday. I find pages easier to use on ipad than computer. Also more portable.”
Most of the students enjoyed how versatile and portable the iPad is. However, as in most cases, the best thing about it is also the most challenging thing:
B) What is your least favourite thing?
The main criticism about the iPad parallels the teachers’ main problem with it (and, by the way, the rest of the world): Apple’s blood feud with Flash. They are frustrated that some of the websites they need or look at do not work on the iPad.
But the second thing is the flip side of the versatility comment: it has so many things on it it is distracting. It is important to note, that the students were not always talking about their own distraction but that of their colleagues.
Here it is in their own words:
“It does not have flash and it is distracting always having everything on it.”
“It can be distracting when you are trying to do work and your friend messages you.”
“You always have something constantly coming at you: between all the social media there is always something coming. Which is great when you want it but makes it hard to focus.”
“[I don’t like] the addiction it has on some people, when people can’t really get off it.”
“The fact that it is an ipad. More tech means less face to face talk.”
Other interesting comments:
“That it makes people more paranoid. They seem to trust you less- they suspect the worse. For example, I flip from pages to safari a lot when doing a project and because the teacher can see the colour changing they immediately suspect I am playing games.”
“It freezes a lot because of some websites and it deletes my work even though I press save. [The] camera deleted [my work] but it was in the beginning and I probably didn’t know what I was doing.”
I appreciated the thoughtfulness most of the Grade 7 displayed when answering the questions. They were able to pinpoint the exact way the iPad is meant to be useful (portability, versatility) and also identify the problems with it. The fact that they identify their own distraction as well as that of their classmates is particularly telling. But more on that in the following posts!
Next post…#6: What was your favourite class project where you had to use the iPad? The least favourite?