“Mrs. Meeuwse, I asked for an iPad for my birthday!” a student shared. “You did?” I asked. “Yes. I saw on tv where they are very affordable.” she said. Wow, I thought. I was 46 before I was able to get an iPad and now this 5 year old is getting one.
I know there is a lot of discussion about the appropriateness of these tools in the hands of young children. You can debate they aren’t old enough to handle them properly or that they can’t appreciate the power of it. “What about old school paper and pencil?” some have said. My question to those people is, “Why can’t we use both?” I do use paper and pencil in my class. It is still important for children to learn HOW to write. We still use real books for reading. We also use books on our iPads. My students use their iPads for a variety of activities but we still have a block center, a housekeeping center with dress-up, and an art center. We still pretend and sing and hold hands and take a nap. The real rock stars here are these students. They don’t care about the fuss and debate. They just want get on with the business of learning. Isn’t that what it’s really all about?