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An interview with Monica Burns, an Apple educator

In this week’s installment of Ask an Expert, we spoke with education consultant Monica Burns. We met Monica at Apps4Learning and were immediately impressed by how she helps teachers infuse their curricula with technology. She’s also an Apple Distinguished Educator and an edtech blogger at Teachers and parents alike should check out her blog for technology advice and follow her on Twitter @ClassTechTips!

Tiggly: You're a former teacher who used iPads as part of your teaching strategy, and now you're an independent consultant. What excites you most about touchscreen technology in the classroom?

Monica Burns: Touchscreen technology is exciting for many reasons! The interactive experience children can now have with technology gives them a chance to engage with their learning on a new level. I love the fact that students can not only consume content on a tablet but they can truly become the creators. Giving them the space to make decisions and demonstrate their creativity is powerful at any age.

Tiggly: One common criticism of tablets in schools is that they can be so expensive. In your opinion, why should lower-income school districts prioritize the spending on this type of technology?

MB: ll children deserve access to technology and tablets can teach them a variety of skills that will help them become career- and college-ready. Tablet technology can help level the playing field for students in lower-income school districts. Schools can get more bang for their buck by investing in tablets that let children explore their world while learning.

Tiggly: What do you think is the biggest advantage of letting your learners - kindergarteners ans eve preschoolers - learn on tablets?

MB: It's amazing to see how young children interact with technology. One tablet can give preschoolers a tool to learn shapes, letters, new words, and so much more The biggest advantage has to be the fact that a tablet gives kids the opportunity to get instant feedback. They'll see if they are answering questions correctly and where they made a mistake and need to try again.

Tiggly: Is there anything in particular that impresses you about Tiggly Shapes and our learning apps?

MB: I am very impressed with Tiggly Shapes! It’s so exciting to see products that give youngsters an opportunity to interact with a screen and use toys in their hand at the same time. Tiggly Shapes gives children the chance to master a handful of skills at once and truly be creative.


Tiggly: Finally, what's your earliest memory of using technology to learn something yourself?

MB: What a great question! I guess you could say Tetris as a way to learn about polygons or the first time I searched the Internet for information — a long way from learning how to use a card catalog in the library.

Tram Tiggly