Tanya Meyer is an exemplary high school learner at Northcliff High School in Johannesburg, which has an ethos of academic and extramural excellence. Tanya was constantly challenged by the daily demands of juggling school work with sports and cultural activities. She became increasingly frustrated with the amount of time she spent on certain tasks, and started looking at efficient ways of simplifying the things she was doing. When her teachers started using iPads in the classroom at the beginning of 2012, Tanya realised that there was an opportunity to integrate the iPad with her schoolwork. With the support of her dad who embraces technology, and many months of pocket money saved, Tanya bought her own iPad in March 2013. Now, not only has Tanya’s approach to studying completely changed, she’s now one of the grade’s top performers, and her life outside of school has become richer too. Furthermore, what started as an efficient approach to her school work has now resulted in her publishing an e-book to help other teenagers like her harness the power of iPad in their learning.
“I was able to cut down on my home study time in half because I don’t have to sit there writing out my summaries,” says Tanya. “Now I have a balanced life and more time for family and for friends. iPads have such an incredible opportunity for you as a student. Apps, internet, mail. it’s got all of those at your fingertips.”
Balancing act - juggling schoolwork sports and social
For Tanya, using the iPad has helped her to achieve a balance in all areas of her life.
- With iPad’s intuitive and easy to use interface, Tanya was able to immediately get stuck in and start discovering ways of using various apps for her learning.
- By using apps in class and at home, Tanya was able to make notes and summaries in class, saving her time on weekends, and making the content more engaging and interesting.With her efficient study methods, Tanya now has more time for things that she enjoys such as being with family and friends, participating in sports and cultural activities, and playing her electric guitar. Since her iPad is with her all the time, Tanya’s learning is no longer confined to the classroom walls. She’s become a more independent learner as a result and enjoys finding different ways of accessing information on her iPad to tackle problems and answer questions.
- Tanya has recognised that her independent approach to learning is providing her with the essential skills she believes she needs for a 21st-century workplace.