We all know that the internet has helped a lot with global commerce and business and an increased connection with friends and family around the world. However, it’s also easy to see that its increasing power is also influencing education and learning.
Describe How Tablet Computers And Apps Are Impacting Online Learning
Adam Roszkowski is a contributor to the Wave. Adam is CEO of TabletDev
Chances are, you have one of these in your home. One is probably in the kitchen where you can bring it to share ideas, skim content, and look at references. It’s probably next to your bed. I’m talking about a PC tablet, otherwise known as a “smart” device. You’ve likely seen more than a few of these in the home and office in the last decade.
Why are they so popular? A big part of the equation has to do with an ever-growing fascination with smartphones and tablets. There have been, and continue to be, constant advances in the mobile computing realm, opening up further opportunities for the perfect combination of displays, wireless connectivity, and computing power into a device so small we hardly even notice it.
As more and more people buy smartphones and tablets for use in schools, it’s natural to wonder why the devices are so popular and how they’re impacting learning in the classroom. Below are five of the most common modes and trends we see in tablet-enhanced classrooms.
Analog devices like radios, and even the books their recorded music sources spawned, often require a student to hold it close to their ear while the source dials through the song to see what the song sounds like. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to know how that music sounds when the playback is separated from the object or voice on the other end.
With the proliferation of streaming devices, we’re now able to essentially paste a source material on a screen and let the system interpret it, making it visible while we’re listening to the source.
This is a popular application in high school classrooms, where the iTunes library or those of other libraries is much easier to access on a smartphone. The ability to bring the teacher’s course content to life using an audio track, and to use audio for visual aids, like graphs and voice notes, is another key part of the method.
2. Interactive Learning
Although the use of tablets in schools can make it somewhat difficult to get equipment in classrooms, the most advanced tablets can integrate with bright whiteboards in a way the Apple Newton never could. For those who look on the bright side, big, shiny whiteboards often raise the expectations of a desk, making the new tool something of a fire-starter.
With mobile devices like Apple Pencil, it’s possible to go beyond simple drawing and coloring to interacting with the source material, adding comments or even striking up a conversation.
Apple Pencil is more than just an awesome mobile note-taking tool; the 2-in-1 iPad Pro 2 allows users to take pictures, write notes, and sketch out a story. It offers a window to presentations, and an additional interaction channel in the classroom, all without breaking the spell of a good lesson.
Admittedly, iPads haven’t quite hit the mainstream in educational environments, despite the fact that similar devices like the Surface Pro and Surface Studio have become so popular for professional work environments. Apple and Microsoft are following in Google’s footsteps by releasing tablets specifically with multimedia in mind, however.
Current Apple iPads can support Microsoft Office, spreadsheets, and real-time annotation, all while being able to play video games like Minecraft and TapSports Mania.
For a teacher, seeing more than a range of whiteboards, propped up pennies, and several tablets in a classroom means a school can really step up. An iPad is the newest, sleeker accessory. And its ability to bring all of that teaching and educational content to life is more than just stylish.
I was on the panel for InfoComm, and a lot of the questions we were asked were along the lines of “How do you manage the technology, especially when it’s not just black-and-white?” Most of the devices on display had touch interfaces for tablet users to interact with software and watch video. While we were at the show, there was a T-Mobile store, staffed by a teacher, where they were showing off a 13-inch iPad Pro with super-high contrast display. The more vibrant, vivid, and crystal clear that display looked, the more popular the device became.
Tablet devices with color screens, including the new iPad Pro models, add a whole new meaning to display that are becoming increasingly popular. From the teacher’s perspective, the same stuff that was previously shown on the chalkboard is now right in front of their eyes.