Better Reasons for Using Tablets (via Once and Educator…)

A great blog, Once an Educator, just posted an excellent blog about the role that tablets can play in education.

In the Philippines now, there’s been talk of schools adapting the use of tablets for basic education. Tablets, being the latest “it” device, are seen as having great potential for teaching. After all, students seem to take to it very well. (On the other hand, students take to everything technology-related very well.)

In the media, however, most of the coverage about the device centers around its capacity to reduce the weight of heavy books lugged around by students. (Case in point: this news report about E-tablets replacing bulky books and this blog post about an all girls’ school in Metro Manila also exploring the use of tablets to replace their books.) In both of these reports, the tablet seems to be touted as no more than an ebook reader–place all of the textbooks in one light and nifty device. Though I’m sure we all agree that the tablet does do that, I think we need to refocus and see all the other benefits of the tablet, over and above its function as an ebook reader.

Read More Here: “Once an Educator: Better Reasons for Using Tablets in Philippine Schools

7 thoughts on “Better Reasons for Using Tablets (via Once and Educator…)

  1. Colin Bridgewater

    I was actually disappointed after reading that article. Although the author wrote about “tablets” she could have substituted the word “laptop” for just about any of her positive comments:

    “There is so much more that the tablet can offer aside from being an ebook reader. From a parent’s perspective, the tablet can be used to keep track of my kids’ projects, school communications, assignments, etc. From a teacher’s perspective, the tablet can be used with a Learning Management System that allows the teacher to create quizzes and assessments, deliver them to the students, and get the scores which will then be automatically recorded on a digital record book. From a student’s perspective, the tablet can be used to explore concepts and content via interactive exercises, to discuss ideas with other people around the world in order to build knowledge that doesn’t just come from a single source, to create content that exhibits his knowledge and talent.”

    All of these things can be done on a laptop with a full keyboard (and much more full-featured software). Plus, with a proper laptop (instead of an iPad) that has a keypad, students can more easily compose essays and maybe even blog posts.

    I’ll be very interested to read about high schools who have adopted iPads as their computer of choice, as I want to know how they plan to get around the lack of a proper keyboard. I think iPads in elementary schools make more sense at the moment because of the hands-on manipulative-type activities that can be offered.

    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      This is an issue that we’ve been addressing at our school in considering a laptop vs. iPad 1 to 1. One of the big foci of an iPad or tablet is that it can be an incorporated eReader as well as computing device (a textbook combo computer). We have actually brought up the ‘what about a keyboard?’ issue and have even suggested the Blue Tooth keyboard option (I have one but have only used it a few times – but you’re right, most of my hard core computing I do on my laptop)
      As the iPad has only been around a little more than a year, there is little hard data. There is also the appeal that tablets are less expensive, lighter, and more durable (my iPad has survived falls that would have readily killed my MacBook).

  2. Pingback: Better Reasons for Using Tablets (via Once and Educator…) | Γονείς σε Δράση

    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      There are a few of them out there. I haven’t yet found one, that I’ve seen in person, that I like very much – the weight and balance is always odd… When I use one, I use my Apple wireless bluetooth keyboard. Still, it is an extra bulk to lug around.

  3. fantaghiro23

    Hi, Jennifer! Thanks for linking to my blog post.:)

    I actually agree with Colin that currently, laptops or netbooks have more functionality than a tablet. Given a choice, for secondary education, i would prefer the netbook over a tablet for one-to-one solutions.

    However, I wrote my blog post in reaction to the current craze over the tablet in certain schools in our country. I wanted to point out that if schools are going to invest so much on the tablet, then they better well look at it as more than an e-reader. Unfortunately, after hearing what some major proponents for the tablet were saying, it seemed that all they wanted was to put books inside it and have students read flat ebooks on the tablet, which, I felt, highly underestimated the device that they were forcing upon the students and the parents.

    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      Thanks for coming by and clarifying your points. It’s interesting that the faculty at our school who was originally against a laptop 1 to 1 seem more okay with the tablet. They state they liked the combined feature with textbooks and that they take up less space in the room (no physical barrier, like a screen, between them and teacher).
      I’m so happy that this post has garnered so much discussion and response.


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