Learning with iPads in Geography classes: how to start

The view from a geography classroom

There is one aspect of learning that I would always like to ooze from geography lessons and that is a engagement with issues affecting the world that feeds the students’ curiosity.

To be perpetually curious about the world and all that is in it, both human and physical must be one of the most valuable lessons that any teacher can convey.

This is no more so than in the junior years of education when the burdens of examination requirements are long distant. Every good teacher knows that they want to sweep aside any debate about skills vs knowledge. Genuine learning will combine both.

Enter the iPad!

No amount of technology in a classroom will transform weak teaching into good teaching. The iPad is just another tool available to the teacher and the students. A great teacher will not be over-awed by it and they will simply use it where it enables a job to be done more simply or in a different and more engaging way than traditionally available.

There’s an app for that

What an unfortunate phrase and probably the nemesis of many people thinking about using iPads in the classroom! If you identify a specific need, a topic, an outcome and then seek out the app that will fix it for you, you will be disappointed nine times out of 10.

The best way to look at using iPads in the geography classroom is to look at the generic apps first. Yes, there are subject-specific apps that any geographer will enjoy, but they will almost certainly be of limited use and the teacher and students will tire of them quickly.

Next post: How to Gather Information Actively using the iPad


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