Tablets for Schools
The advent of touchscreen devices and tablet computers in particular have revolutionised all of our lives in the last few years. Many of our work and leisure hours are now spent using mobile internet devices, changing the nature of our communication and also the way we consume all of our media content. Through our tablets we can have access to TV, movies, music, magazines, books and games, and so, of course, can our children.
Mobile devices have also unlocked an enormous amount of potential in educational settings. More and more children will have used a tablet as early as their pre-school nursery years. In these years the focus is very much on simple drag and drop, pattern matching, tracing and sorting apps that underpin early years educational strategies - another tool in the box if you like. Parents are often surprised at how quickly very young children are able to pick up the skills of using a tablet - swiping through pictures and pages, pinching and expanding to zoom in and out, tapping to open. This seems to come fairly intuitively to children - it's not for nothing that they are called our first generation of digital natives!
However, when children reach primary and secondary school age, tablets can be used in any number of more complex ways to complement learning. As well as the use of a tablet's internet capability for topic research, pupils can use word processing and spreadsheet apps, practise quick-fire mental arithmetic on motivational maths games and watch educational videos simply and quickly - no more locating the school VCR and setting it up in the classroom! Pupils can work individually or share resources, and create many different presentations, films, collages and trailers to report on later.
LearnPad is educational tablet software that is specifically designed for the use of tablets in a classroom environment and offers some distinct benefits to teachers, pupils and parents. Differentiated learning enables pupils to work on personalised learning programmes enabled by their teacher. Often these can be accessed from home as well by using QR code technology. Curriculum content is updated frequently by LearnPad. New Lesson Profiles are added to the bank of material for free in response to any updates in the curriculum. Supervision and Control is simple with LearnPad, which allows teachers total control over which apps the pupils are allowed to access and gives them access to pupil profiles.
There's no doubt that, used appropriately, tablets can enrich a child's experience of education - many pupils report finding learning through technology a more rewarding experience, which can only be good news for us all.