FOR THE WEEK OF AUG. 16, 2010
Tech tools are cool for school, students and educators agree
Find any type of back-to-school coverage. See if at least one student is quoted or pictured.
Look for technology news of interest, particularly about devices or apps that can be used for play and learning. If there's one you'd like, tell why.
Discuss or list ways the newspaper can be used in class, for homework and for general knowledge-building.
As back-to-school season gains momentum, technology is at or near the top of many shopping lists. Laptop sales overtook those of desktops last year for the first time, and now smart phones, e-readers and the new iPad are seen as the next instructional tools. No matter what online access path is chosen, all sorts of apps and mobile technologies can help with studying and class projects.
The iPad touch-screen tablet introduced this year draws interest from parents, educators and tech reviewers. It's light (1.5 pounds) and students can use a wireless keyboard or iPad Keyboard Dock for book reports, term papers or other assignments. Apple sells more than 1 million a month, and it's first among the Top 5 tech items for this school year ranked by CNET, a popular tech site (see video below). Dozens of education apps are geared to all subjects and grades, and include some for special-needs pupils or for evaluating college choices.
Smart phone and iPad users can choose from an array of free or cheap apps that help students at any age. Math Trainer for Blackberry ($2.99) can be set at elementary, middle or high school levels. Capital Quiz for Android is a 79-cent geography game. Sentence Builder for iPad ($2.99) reinforces grammar lessons. Star Walk for iPhone ($2.99) and iPad ($4.99) teaches about astronomy while looking at the night sky. .
Student says: "This [iPad] is a perfect tool for what I need to do. . . I probably won't use my laptop in class anymore." -- Stesha Doku, Stanford medical student
Educator says: "Technology does assist kids who think school is boring. It goes right into their hands." -- Michael Mangini, computer systems manager for Cranford (N.J.) School District
Blogger says: "If when I was in high school I had been handed an iPad, I would never have skipped a class again." -- Alex Wilhelm at thenextweb.com