Technology in the classroom: Introducing the iPad

ipadsJohn Tiersma, a 2006 Dordt graduate, came to back to his alma mater to speak about the benefits of teaching in a one to one classroom and how technology is incorporated.

Tiersma gave a lecture to many Dordt professors and teachers from the community. Tiersma currently teaches 7th grade science and Bible at Valley Christian in California and graduated from Dordt with an elementary education major and a middle school endorsement

His evening lecture focused on why one-on-one education is beneficial. One-on-one teaching means putting a piece of educational technology, in Tiersma’s case iPads, into the hands of every student.

There are pros and cons to this teaching strategy, but Tiersma supports using iPads in a one-on-one classroom because it promotes richer learning, enhances creativity, promotes collaboration, provides access to information, and iPads also excite students.

In today’s society, technology is a large part of the school environment and teachers must adjust at their own pace. It’s crucial to ease into it, because it is overwhelming.

Tiersma emphasized that technology doesn’t equal success, but the goal, when using technology, should be to make learning better. It is a tool that should equip teachers and students. If it is used just for fun it shouldn’t be used in a classroom setting.

“I don’t want to do something because of the excitement factor,” said Tiersma.

Hands-on activities are still a big part of Tiersma’s classroom. There are days when he doesn’t let the students bring out the iPads at all. He encourages student interaction and creativity.

He emphasized the need for technology to fit the school’s vision. Policies must be put in place and the school must be able to afford to make it work through appropriate training and support from principal and staff. All teachers must be on board; otherwise it isn’t a good idea.

“Teachers need to be ready to learn from each other and the students,” said Tiersma.

Rachel Mulder, Staff Writer

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