I constantly return to this theme in my blog, which is most appropriate for learners iPod Touches or iPads. I am genuinely open minded about it. As can be seen below, the general consensus has been iPods because of the portability. However, I felt it was worth revisiting the debate following some discussions I had recently with children.
On my rounds picking up the loan sets of iPads and iPods from various schools I always try and get some feedback from the teachers and the children. Sadly, with it being the last week of term it was hard to get hold of teachers much but I did have some interesting conversations with the Year 5 children at Saltburn Learning Campus.
The jury was split over use of pod or pad. They would love either and described how it was much better writing digitally (the boys were particularly keen on this) then using a pen and paper. All of the children I spoke to preferred writing on the iPad as the keyboard was bigger (but then we did open up the discussion of using an iPod and typing in a “texting” way with your thumbs). As writing was something that they tend to do a lot of in their daily school work this was seen as very important (although sadly they will actually have to be coached a lot with a pen and paper as that is how they are tested at the end of Y6). When I raised the question of portability and carrying the device around they all agreed that the iPad was a bit cumbersome (and expensive to drop was one comment) but there were still half of the children still preferring the iPad.
I then picked up kit from a school that has had iPods and iPads on loan at different times over the past few months. The teacher was adamant that she preferred iPads as they were easier to use in school. When I asked her to factor in portability she still came down on the side of the iPads.
In Riverdale Primary, where the iOS devices have ben used very effectively 1:1 for nearly two years now, several of the Y5s who will get their devices after the Summer break (sadly they didn’t arrive in time!) have opted for iPads instead of an iPod. I will be continuing my CPD sessions (my CPD, not the children or teachers!!!) there until October half term so will continue to report on how those children find the experience of using the larger device alongside the other children with iPods.