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Could The New IPad Change The Way We Teach Children?

22/04/2010 08:06 | Updated 22 May 2015

I'm not really into technology, preferring instead to spend spare money on plants and seeds, but even I am excited about Apple's latest innovation, the iPad.

Not only is it supposed to change our technological lives but programmers who have created content for it reckon they could end up as valuable teaching tools.

An e-book/app has been created for it about the periodic table that is truly interactive. It sounds a bit boring doesn't it, an e-book about the periodic table? But thanks to the iPad and the creators this one is special.

Maybe in ten years' time we'll see iPads in all classrooms in the same way that laptops are commonplace in our schools today. What an amazing thought! But how is this book on the iPad different to reading something on line or with wireless reading devices like the Kindle?

Scientist and entrepreneur Theodore Gray created "The Elements" as an iPad version of his book about the periodic table by trying to imagine what sort of book Harry Potter would make.

The result, which took six weeks to create, is not just the book recreated for a screen, it appears to be much more. According to Gray, each element on the periodic table has an image that can be spun around on the 9.7 inch, colour touch screen.

This means it can be seen from all sides. There are also links to live information on the web and 3-D images that can be viewed with special glasses.

Gray, a co-founder of Wolfram Research and columnist for Popular Science magazine in America, could have just reproduced the pages of the print version of the book on a screen, which is what he says most e-book publishers are doing.

Although helpful to young scientists, he believes this e-book should not be seen as a textbook. "It has a start and finish," he says, and should be treated "more like enrichment materials." However, "a chemistry teacher could do a lot worse than encouraging their students to look at it."

But he does sound one note of warning to teachers -- he hopes they will not use the iPad and it's educational e-books as a tool to get more free time.

A spokesman for Apple had no comment on the company's plans to market the iPad directly to educational establishments although many companies are busy working on suitable apps for it.

Technology will hopefully never replace inspirational teachers, but it is still exciting to see how it can be harnessed to create interactive educational tools.

What do you think -- is this an exciting development or should children be taught the more traditional way?

Source: Parentdish US

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