You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.
One of the big questions I am repeatedly asked is about using iPads and implementing Common Core State Standards (CCSS). When you study the standards and the purpose behind them, and you understand personalized learning, you can see how the two fit nicely together.
Personalized Learning is the tailoring of pedagogy, curriculum and learning support to meet the needs of the individual student. Typically technology is used to facilitate personalized learning environments. The CCSS are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our students need for success in college and careers. In Language Arts, the CCSS focus on students learning to read and write complex texts independently at high levels of proficiency and at a rapid rate to be effective. The focus is on proficiency and complexity, yes, but also on independence. We want our students to be able to do quick, on-the-run research when needed, to express their thinking verbally and in writing, and to summarize, analyze, and design without needing teachers to insert the key questions along the way or to walk them through step by step. iPads are an ideal learning tool for these goals. Having constant access to information, students are able to research when needed. They are able to to write, compose, and create with various applications…all without having to wait their turn on a classroom computer. The CCSS emphasize that every student needs to be given access to the thinking curriculum that is at the heart of the standards.
The Common Core standards is, above all, a call for accelerating students’ literacy development. We must lift the level of student achievement. This is not achieved by simply transferring a worksheet from paper to the iPad. The CCSS call for true reform. Reform needs to revolve around creating systems of continuous improvement that result in teaching toward higher expectations, personalizing learning for students-which in turn, increases rigor as well as student engagement. One way we can use iPads to implement the standards is iBooks Author. iBooks Author allows us to create our own texts to move students up levels of complexity by providing them with many just-right, high-interest texts.
As educators, we have to enable our students to become strong and proficient readers and writers. Using iPads, we are able to fortify our own teaching, our students’ learning and meet the high standards of the Common Core.
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