I have always thought that the tablet is a perfect educational tool, although I have to admit that it just might be the most expensive mobile gaming device I have ever owned. When it comes to children, however, a tablet can be put to much more better use than simply playing games with pure entertainment value. It is thus not surprising at all to hear about how classrooms all over the world are utilizing tablets to augment the learning process.
With the use of tablets in the classroom being fairly new, it is understandable that teachers – and the system – may make blunders. They may be prone to misusing the tablets in the classroom setting. It’s not being judgmental, but simply looking at the ways tablets can be used better to gain positive results.
Let’s take a look at a few “mistakes” that can happen in the classroom, in relation to the use of tablets.
Lack of training with regard to classroom management and tablet integration
More often than not, teachers are given a tablet of their own to explore before they actually use it in the classroom with the pupils. The mistake can happen if the teachers are not given adequate training in integrating tablet use in the learning flow, as well as considering classroom management issues. Any educator knows that classroom management can be a challenge, and with the addition of any new tool, the entire picture needs to be evaluated. Knowing how to use a tablet on your own and managing a class with the pupils having access to tablets is a whole different story!
The solution: provide or create training to address this specific need.
Too much focus on content apps
Why is this a mistake? After all, the learning process has to rely on apps that provide high quality content, right?
That is all very true, but it would be a sad thing if teachers focused only on content apps and forgot about the host of other apps that may serve as tools to practice, apply, and evaluate what has been learned from the content apps.
The trick is in finding a happy medium between apps that deliver knowledge and apps that help the pupils use that knowledge.
Expecting a tablet to replace desktop/laptop computers
One day, that might be the case, but we have to be realistic about the current situation. Tablets are awesome – some more than others – but they are not quite suitable as perfect replacements for their big brothers yet. Teachers ought to remember this and impart the idea to their pupils as well.
There are many things that tablets can add to the learning experience, but to expect them to deliver exactly what a desktop computer can is setting students – and teachers – up for disappointment and frustration.
That being said, I believe that tablets will be a staple in the future classroom. What do you think?