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A beginners guide to tablets

In the past few decades, technological advances have been made that have begun to change the way that people live their everyday lives. With the popular use of social media networks and cell phones, the entire way that people communicate with one another has changed. Writing and mailing letters as a means of communication has become nearly obsolete, in part due to the ability to connect with distant friends and relatives instantly through text messaging, social media, or extremely inexpensive long-distance cell phone calls. Surely the technology that exists in today's society has impacted the everyday tasks that people perform as well. As society has evolved with these advancements in technology, it has become a necessity to update the information that is taught to children. Teaching today's youth requires that the technology that they encounter on a daily basis be implemented into their learning to ensure that they will be prepared for life in a tech-savvy world. Using tablets in the classroom is an excellent way to teach children of all ages in a way that is relevant to their lives. Early learners are able to be taught in a way that is often familiar to them, teachers are able to be more directly involved with their classes, children learn to use technology responsibly, and paper is not wasted as frequently when tablets are introduced as educational tools.

Early Learning

The use of tablets for learning, work, and pleasure has rapidly expanded in recent years. By the time most children even enter pre-school, it is likely that they already know how to operate a tablet. Children are exposed to technology in nearly every aspect of their lives from the time they are born in modern society. Fortunately, learning to operate such devices teaches children vital skills such as hand-eye coordination from a very early age. These already developed skills can transfer well into other areas, improving physical and mental abilities. Many parents also allow and encourage their children to use tablets loaded with educational applications from early ages, which means that many children are entering school already knowing a lot of the basic concepts that in past years were not addressed until beginning school. This gives teachers a great opportunity to prepare very young children for further education by using technology that the children are already comfortable with and allows teachers to go more in-depth about certain topics than they may have been able to in the past. Using tablets with elementary-school children is also an excellent way to keep track of the progress that each individual student is making effortlessly, as many learning apps come equipped with the ability to track the user's progress. This can help a teacher identify very specific areas in which a student is excelling or struggling, which is more difficult to determine on an individual basis, at times, in a large classroom.

Teaching With a Tablet

Long gone are the days where a teacher has to stand at a chalkboard and draw basic examples and explanations for the class. Although teachers have been using computers and videos for years, the sole use of a computer still limited teachers to one corner of the classroom, and videos required preparation and even more equipment and planning. With tablets, teachers suddenly become mobile. Teachers are able to move anywhere in the classroom, which enables them to be more interactive with the class as a whole. Tablets are equipped with software and apps that can quickly become a teacher's best friend. Everything from grading papers to sharing video clips can be done easily and in a very organized manner on a tablet. The uses of a tablet in the classroom, however, are not limited to watching videos or grading papers. Tablets are also an excellent way to make learning fun and easily access information to explain specific questions that may be asked as a follow-up to a lesson. Children enjoy learning when they view it as an exciting and fun activity, which is why tablets increase the overall level of enjoyment and understanding in class. Children in today's society are familiar with using technology to learn, and introducing tablets loaded with relevant learning games is a wonderful way to engage students and encourage them to continue learning beyond the classroom.

Fostering Responsibility

Implementing the use of tablets as an educational tool in the classroom is a great way to begin discussing responsibility with children. The children using tablets in the classroom are taught the proper way to store, carry, and use tablet PCs. The discussion of responsibility, however, does not end with simply caring for the tablet. Teachers who introduce technology to their students are also given the opportunity to discuss making safe, responsible choices when using the Internet and other forms of technology. This platform is extremely helpful in instilling safe lifelong digital practices.

Going Paperless

Another great advantage to using tablets as teaching devices in the classroom is that with their use, teachers drastically reduce the amount of paper that is used in the classroom every day. Over the course of a school year, large amounts of handouts are distributed and eventually thrown in the trash, but by using storage devices and applications, this becomes unnecessary. Students can take notes on their tablets, complete classwork, and even submit homework assignments through applications installed on the device. This not only makes a positive impact on the environment but also makes it easier for teachers to grade assignments and for students to store and review them for later reference.

  1. 6 Reasons Tablets Are Ready for the Classroom
  2. Examples of Successful Classroom Tablet Integration
  3. iPads/Computer Tablets: Tips for Teachers
  4. The Benefits of Using a Tablet
  5. Tablet PCs for Classroom Use
  6. Using a Tablet PC to Enhance Instruction and Productivity (PDF)
  7. Teaching with Tablets
  8. Study Shows Positive Impact of iPads in the Classroom
  9. Tablets Taking a Swipe at the Status Quo
  10. iPads in the Classroom: Worth Doing Right
  11. Assessing the Impact of a Tablet-PC-based Classroom Interaction System (PDF)
  12. No Child Left Untableted
  13. Tablet Computers and Children
  14. Why Use iPads for Learning?
  15. 5 Ways Teachers Can Use Tablets
  16. Study: iPads Improve Classroom Learning