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Sixth grade students fall for the tablet!

Laptop or digital tablet? The students of Catherine Grégoire, a sixth grade teacher at the Saint-Charles school of the Commission scolaire des Chênes, prefer their iPads, which are easier to use, less bulky and more efficient.

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Laptop or digital tablet? The students of Catherine Grégoire, a sixth grade teacher at the Saint-Charles school of the Commission scolaire des Chênes, prefer their iPads, which are easier to use, less bulky and more efficient.

“I don't miss cellphones,” says the teacher whose class was equipped with them last year. In an ideal world, each student would have their iPad, but for now the class has ten devices for twenty children. "I still find myself lucky to have ten and the sharing is done very well between the children," she says.

Digital tablets remain on student desks all day. They use it more and more over time. “Children use them daily for all kinds of things. They consult Antidote (a correction software) instead of the paper dictionary, they read the newspaper online, they use an ideator for metacognition in text analysis. They also made videos, ”says Suzanne Harvey, educational advisor at the Commission scolaire des Chênes.

Always having the tablet close at hand allows a certain spontaneity on the part of the teacher. It is also more efficient. “We tried the iPad cart experiment at another school this year. We realized it was better to always have them in class. It cannot be managed like computers, there is no session where we can save our things before closing, it is more difficult to share. We therefore leave the devices for twelve days in the classroom, but that is not enough, ”notes Harvey.

For Ms. Grégoire's students, young people with learning difficulties, the iPad is a motivating element. “They don't have a huge interest in school. The tablet allows you to vary the approaches and tools. It is a winning formula for them. When they use it, they don't feel like they're working, ”she notes. However, the teacher had to adapt and accept to work with a tool that she does not fully understand. “The students are very good so sometimes they help me out, they are my specialists,” she admits, laughing. It is rewarding for them and very pleasant. She can also count on the daily presence of a remedial teacher and a special education technician.

It is very difficult to measure the “iPad effect” on the educational success of young people through all the other strategies put in place, but Ms. Grégoire is convinced that it is an advantage.

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About the Author

Nathalie Côté
Nathalie Cote
Nathalie is a journalist. His favorite themes are family, education, health, consumption, the environment and social phenomena. She contributes in particular to the newspaper La Presse.

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