Thanks to Apple’s habit of making their products well-recognized, I don’t think I have to explain what an iPad is, but for the purposes of this blog post, it is a computer that is the size and shape of a tablet and its screen is controlled by touch and gently moving the tablet itself. In this post, I will address how librarians and educators are using these tablets for the early childhood crowd.
“Going mobile with iPads in School Libraries” is a presentation by Caroln Foote, a school librarian located in Austin, TX. She addresses how libraries have used iPads in a few different ways, including using them as “learning stations” for younger children. Coupled with Time Techland’s article titled “New Study Finds iPads in the Classroom Boost Test Scores,” which brings up the correlative case study in which kindergartners used iPads in their classroom, and “those who used the tablet scored higher on literacy tests and were more enthused about learning,” shows that iPads and other tablets can certainly aid a young child’s educational experience. (However, it is important to note that this information is correlative—not necessarily causative.) Also, certainly not all schools can afford this, but libraries may be able to purchase one or some and partner with the schools to cover costs and provide access to the students.
For more information, I highly recommend checking out the Fred Rogers Center, which has the mission “to advance the fields of early learning and children’s media by acting as a catalyst for communication, collaboration, and creative change.” Their Early Learning Environment and Publications webpages are certainly worth a look if you want to delve more into this topic.