There is no denying that iPads or other tablets can engage a group of students who normally might not be inclined to embrace certain activities. But should they be used for that purpose?!?
It saddens and frustrates me to realize that in some classrooms, iPads have become the new silent reading. Some teachers put an iPad into the hands of a student and then sit back and in some cases do their marking or check their Facebook page.
It's awkward if teachers haven't asked for my help or planned the project with me because I don't feel like I have the right to intervene, but at the same time, I see the potential of the technology being wasted, and know that the teacher who wanted to use those iPads for something involving modification or redefinition (the SAMR model), can't because they've been signed out for Internet research.
The easiest way to guard against the misuse of technology is to continually ask, "Why am I having students use a tablet?"
If your only answer is "to keep them engaged" or "to keep them busy and quiet", rethink your use of that technology.
I feel like I haven't done a good job in guiding and encouraging my colleagues to always be asking why when they sign out the iPads, but I'm going to try to do that more often in the new year.