A teacher can teach literacy, math, spelling, vocabulary, science, social studies, art, foreign language, etc, without an iPad. Good teachers can teach without lots of bells and whistles. That's what makes them good. Technology will not make you a better teacher. You become a better teacher because of your passion to be a better teacher.
Last year I met a baker whose goal was to make the perfect baguette. That's it. Everyday he would come to work with one goal, to finally make that perfect, crusty, chewy, golden loaf of bread. I remember asking him, "How will you know when you have made the perfect one?" The baker just smiled at me and said, "I'll know."
So, what's the connection between the teacher and the baker? The connection is in the answer to the question, "Why should I?"
The baker bakes with passion, and a desire to better his practice. He comes to work with a sparkle in his eye, and determination to reach his goal. He bakes because he cannot imagine doing anything else.
And the teacher? The teacher's goal should resemble that of the baker, perfecting one's practice until that day in the classroom when her eyes have that sparkle, and and her heart knows she has had that perfect lesson. Those perfect lessons do happen.
So, why do I use iPads in my classroom? I use iPads because I can do more than ever before. I can differentiate curriculum quickly. I can allow students to review content independently. I can provide multiple avenues for students to access content. I can keep students engaged longer. I can assess deeper thinking when they create digital stories and record video. I can watch students assess their own work when they listen to or view their own creations. I can observe students collaborating in ways with digital tools that seem to even the playing field regardless of language barriers. I can share student work with parents instantly. Those are some of my reasons for using iPads.
Why should you?