Many schools are making the transition and using tablets as a learning tool in the classroom. Some critics are claiming that educators are abusing the use of technology and that we'll soon have no need for teachers as long as students have an Internet connection. What these critics don't understand is that teachers are still teaching, they're simply using these devices and educational apps to engage students in a new way and make lessons more interactive.
Using tablets and apps in the classroom has a great deal of benefits.
1. It's a cost savings.
Though the initial cost for tablets for the classroom will be pricey (although there are plenty of grants that schools can apply for), they will then serve as a staple to the classroom and quickly pay for themselves. Textbooks will be able to be downloaded electronically instead of purchasing the printed paperback or hardcover copies for each student. Plus, many applications that teachers use in the classroom are free, which is much better than having to pay for workbooks, worksheets and numerous other classroom supplies.
The nice thing is that once these apps or these textbooks are downloaded, the school doesn't have to repurchase or redownload them again, as they will always be available.
2. It improves conversation.
With tablets, students will be able to email teachers their assignments or ask them for additional help. This allows students to reach out to their teachers outside of normal school hours, and they can ask their teacher questions as they're doing their assignments at home.
3. It gets students excited to learn.
Children don't get excited to watch a teacher talk or write things on the board. They get excited to participate in a fun and engaging way, and tablets and educational apps do just that. Students are eager to use the new technology and they're excited to see what each application brings to the table. Plus, students find it easier to learn new things if they're being entertained in the process, so the more interactive the app, the more successful it will be.
4. It provides current monitoring.
There are apps that can track a student's progress in real time, which allows the teacher to always know how their students are doing with the assignments. Teachers can post questions to the students on their individual tablets and allow students to answer in private. Teachers can then use this information to see which students understand the topic and which are having trouble. This way, they can provide the right amount of attention to those students who are struggling and provide praise to those who are doing well.
Plus, if a student is having trouble, they can tell the teacher through their device so that nobody else in the class has to know. This is a great way to provide help to students who may have otherwise kept quiet for fear of being teased.
5. It can be programmed accordingly.
Tablets can be set up so that students are not allowed access to certain websites or other apps while in the classroom. This will keep all students safe from inappropriate websites or content. Plus, there are certain apps, such as LanSchool Teacher's Assistant, that allow teachers to monitor what children are doing on their tablets, and they can quickly shut down access if they notice a student is on an inappropriate site.
If the use of tablets and apps is an option in your school district, think of the possibilities it can present to your child. Using these devices can get children excited to learn, and that’s the whole purpose of school.
Garrett Payne is a teacher and avid writer. He likes to write about technology and education.