The Use of Tablets in Schools

December 12, 2014 Published by

Following the news that 70% of schools in the UK now use tablet computers, Lucy Gill discusses the future of tablets in schools and the apparent monopoly of ipads in education, and proposes how Android tablet providers can redress the balance.

The future of tablets in schools

Symmetry School: Learning GeometryThere is a huge opportunity for tablets in schools to support learning; from motivating disengaged children in subjects they struggle with, to inspiring and stretching the most able. Our recent interview with Corsham Primary School around their usage of iPads in the classroom highlights some of the great ways they can be of value.

We’ve already seen how valuable tablets can be in supporting children with special educational needs, which is another area we’d love to see developed further.

The great thing about tablets is that the apps themselves can track progress, provide contextual support, provide congratulations and even adapt and develop based on how the child uses it (e.g increasing level of difficulty).

However, there is a danger that tablets will be misused in school. They should never be a substitute for good teaching and too much reliance on them is a recipe for disaster. Screentime for children needs to be carefully managed and opportunities for working in groups and discussing as a class should not be diminished following the introduction of tablets in schools.

When tablets are used appropriately to support and extend learning they present a real opportunity to teach and inspire the next generation, however they should not be considered as a simple solution.

Why aren’t Android tablets as popular as ipads in schools?

Kurio Tab BannerKurio Tab BannerI’ve been intrigued to see that in all of my educational visits, I haven’t seen an android tablet in schools yet.

I don’t think this is an indication of the quality or educational value of each type of tablet. I simply don’t think it’s been incentivised by the tablet vendors, unlike apple who have special accounts for schools making it easy to buy one app and give access across all tablets.

Android tablet providers need to make it easy for schools to choose their tablets. Providing attractive multi-device purchase options as well as making it easy for one app to be used across all tablets.

Curated educational content from Android would also help. Content that has been tested and known to be valuable for the classroom. This is where the Good App Guide can help. Teachers with access to iPads in the classroom currently typically spend a lot of time researching good content. A reliable source of classroom friendly content and suggestions of apps that children can use at home would really help to save teachers time, and something we see the Good App Guide as being well placed to support (whether for iPads or Android).

Does your child’s school use tablets? Let us know in the comments whether you think they have enhanced your child’s school experience.

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This post was written by Fundamentally Children

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