iPads replacing note pads as Asian schools go high-tech

Apple's iPad and other tablet computers are replacing traditional note pads in some Asian schools and making the lives of thousands of students a whole lot easier.

Soon pupils could be reading on their tablets about a quaint old communication device called "paper", especially in Asia's advanced economies where many schools are racing towards a paperless classroom.

The slim glass slabs slip easily into a bag and can store thousands of textbooks, making a fat school bag full of heavy books, pens and notepads a thing of the past.

"I like the iPad because it is portable and we do not have to carry so many bags and files around," said 13-year-old Nicole Ong, who now makes notes on her iPad during class at Nanyang Girls' High School in Singapore.

A sample group of more than 120 students and 16 teachers at the school have been given iPads, at a cost of over $100,000. By 2013, every student in the school will have one.

The number of software applications - or apps - that can be used for educational purposes on tablet computers is set to explode.

It's a brand new business that even media mogul Rupert Murdoch has identified as an area of huge potential growth.

Murdoch said his News Corp group is to push into the education technology market in a speech to the e-G8 conference of Internet entrepreneurs and European policymakers in Paris last month.

He described education as the "last holdout from the digital revolution" and outlined a vision for personalised learning with lessons delivered by the world's best teachers to thousands of students via the Internet.

"Today's classroom looks almost exactly the same as it did in the Victorian age," Murdoch added.

But many Asian schools are already way ahead of the game.

"No longer is language learning solely based on the teacher commenting on students' works - classmates can feedback on one another," said Seah Hui Yong, curriculum dean of Nanyang.

Rene Yeo, head of the information technology department at Tampines Secondary School, also in Singapore, teaches science with his iPad. His students learn factorisation by simply moving the numbers around on the screen.

They also read about animal cells and the human brain structure by clicking on the various parts. And tablet computers make the double helix structure of a human DNA practically come to life before a student's eyes.

There are apps to learn English and maths, pupils can do cause and effect analysis on iBrainstorm, prepare for oral exams and speeches with AudioNote and even strum the guitar for a music lesson on GarageBand.

The rise of classroom technology will mirror its rise throughout society, says Sam Han, a US-based expert on the role of technology in education.

Han, instructional technology fellow at the Macaulay Honors College, City University of New York, said he expects some Asian countries to leapfrog the West.

"While the Internet was birthed in the US, Singapore and South Korea (for example) boast far greater broadband Internet access penetration and infrastructure than the US," he said.

Japan's communications ministry has given tablets to more than 3,000 under-12 pupils at 10 elementary schools and even fitted classrooms with interactive electronic blackboards under the so-called "future school" pilot project.

In South Korea, where schools have WiFi zones, the education ministry has been testing 'digital textbooks' in some schools since 2007. In 2012, the ministry says it will decide whether to supply tablets to schools nationwide.

Singapore has a hugely competitive education system known for its high level of science and mathematics instruction. The education ministry provides a grant for schools to buy this kind of equipment, as well as software and services.

Many schools already have WiFi, making it easy for students to connect to the Internet.

But some teachers acknowledged there are students who get distracted by playing games or surfing Facebook and other social media sites like Twitter.

Education psychologist Qiu Lin cautioned against schools getting carried away and promoting the blind use of technological devices, and neglecting the real goals of education.

"The trend of integrating technology into education will definitely increase," said the assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University, which is separate from the high school.

"But after one month when the novelty of iPads wears down, a good curriculum and teaching materials that can increase deep thinking and problem solving in students need to be in place."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Web Developer/Designer - WordPress, PHP, HTML, CSS, Adobe

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Web Developer/Designer - WordPress, PHP, HTML...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global 3D visualisation compa...

    Ashdown Group: SQL Developer - Derbyshire - £30,000 + £5,000 Car allowance

    £28000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer - Derbyshire, commutab...

    Ashdown Group: SQL Developer - 12 Month Fixed Term Contract - Shrewsbury

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer - 12 Month Fixed Term ...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum