Recent studies have shown that 70% of children are already confident in using a laptop, tablet or smart phone before they start school. A nursery school in Wales is already using technology, in particular tablets, as a learning aid for 3 & 4 year olds. QR (quick response) barcodes are also being used to connect children directly to the right learning resource. So how do tablets in education enhance the learning experience and fundamentally improve grades?
Increasingly tablets are being used in the classroom to enhance learning processes, reduce printed material, improve STEM skills, engage with the hard to reach and prepare students for the workplace. The tablet has the capability to shift the classroom dynamic and improve interaction and engagement between students and teachers.
5 year olds starting school in September were introduced to a new curriculum of fractions and computer coding. So is the use of tablets, algorithm modules and coding in the classroom going to support the government’s desire to ‘ensure every child leaves school prepared for life in modern Britain?’
Tablets allow students to gain access to multiple applications and manage a selection of learning tools in minutes. This includes spelling, mathematics, science and social studies. The clear display of a tablet enables interaction with visual elements in the classroom, sharing of ideas, work and photographs.
Note apps are helping students organise their work and are accessible when it’s time to study, in and outside the classroom. Storing their information on a tablet improves information accessibility and reminders, all of which are applicable in today’s working environment. Teaching children early on the value of organisation and how technology can nurture success are all good habits to instil early in life.
The benefit of technology and in particular tablets doesn’t just stop with the pupils, teachers can use tablets to explain concepts using the digital whiteboard. In addition teachers can view individual student screens to monitor their progress, as well as track most used websites, identify students who need extra support and manage assignments and lesson plans.
The use of tablets also reduces paper usage and allows students to hand in assignments digitally. Furthermore with all the data stored in the cloud, the risk of losing data is reduced, even if the tablet is broken or damaged.
Understandably, the tablet being introduced into education will raise some concerns; how will schools manage security? Will the battery life last a full school day? How ‘smart’ is the investment of tablets from a replacement perspective? These shouldn’t be seen as limitations but a tick list of criteria when looking for the right tablet.
Tablets such as the MioWork L130 Series and Casio VT-500 are more durable than most consumer tablets, have a long last battery life, large touchscreen display and a sleek, stylish, lightweight design, making them appealing to students of all ages. Supported by recent studies the tablet is the next step forward for education and development, making them the new pencil, new paper and new textbook.
For more information about tablets suitable for the education sector contact Varlink on 01904 717180.