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Using Tablets as an Educational Tool

Tablets give active and inquisitive seniors the ability to take their interests wherever the road of life takes them. These portable devices, which often look and function like large touch-screen cell phones, are designed to increase productivity and provide a seamless online experience, even when desktop computers are nowhere to be found. Though they are typically less powerful than laptops or computers, tablets offer a host of benefits. They allow users a full multimedia experience and the ability to stay connected through a series of communication apps and features. For seniors especially, tablets provide a lightweight and simplified way to access the Internet and quality-of-life-enhancing digital programs.

While tablets are typically less expensive than laptops or desktop computers, their prices can vary within a wide range. Manufacturer, screen size, and storage capabilities often correlate with cost. For example, Apple tablets generally sell for higher prices than those of other brands, and tablets with less storage can be cheaper than those with greater storage capacities. Larger storage capabilities may improve the user experience, as more media, like pictures, music, video games, and movies, can be saved onto the tablet for offline use. Connection types can also influence costs. Tablets designed to be used exclusively through WiFi connections are generally cheaper than those that can be powered by 3G or 4G networks, and data charges may also apply with the latter.

Since tablets are operated by using fingers on a touch screen, potential buyers should think about their manual dexterity before purchasing. Individuals with disabilities should consider a tablet's accessibility features to ensure ease of use. A tablet can usually be operated right out of the box, but a number of accessories and peripherals can be bought alongside the tablet to contribute to comfort and safety. Styluses can be used to improve feature manipulation, while Bluetooth accessories, like keyboards, can be connected to the tablet to make the input of data faster.

By virtue of their portability, tablets are not usually designed to be a replacement for computers. Rather, they provide users with a way to quickly access some of their data while on the go. Tablets present a wealth of functionality for the average Internet user. Books can be downloaded through an online bookstore and read through reader apps. Music can be listened to using a pre-installed app or through streaming services. Camera-equipped tablets can take photos and sometimes even render edited images. Users can surf the Web using the mobile versions of their favorite browsers. Email can be accessed using popular protocols and push notifications. The functionality of a tablet can be further customized by downloading third-party apps from the tablet's app store.

Apps, or programs designed to be used on a mobile device like a tablet, can provide a high level of functionality for individual users. These programs make it possible for tablet owners to quickly access information or functions that would otherwise be difficult on small screens or limited operating systems. The most common apps downloaded onto tablets include games, books, and news aggregators. Apps centering around education and lifestyle, like those based on the improvement of memory and health tips, are popular among seniors.

Programs that can be especially useful to the elderly include those that help remind them of medication times or provide utility snapshots and budgeting tips. Interests can also be indulged with downloads of apps that appeal to seniors' hobbies and personal activities. Those who delight in culinary adventures may take advantage of any number of recipe apps available, while avid readers may download apps that function as magnifying glasses to help with reading small print. For advanced users, apps can do everything from provide users with a way to create media to remotely control their primary computers. In addition, many social media giants offer streamlined versions of their websites through apps. As with other types of technology, tablets give seniors a way to stay connected and current with the world.

Visit the following links for more information about tablets:

  1. For Seniors: Buying the Right Tablet
  2. iPad vs. Android Tablets
  3. 10 Reasons to Buy a Windows Tablet
  4. Android, Apple or Windows: How to Choose the Right Tablet
  5. Android Quick Start Guide (PDF)
  6. 10 Must-Have iPad Apps for Seniors
  7. 10 Senior-friendly Apps
  8. The Benefits of Using a Tablet
  9. Three Things Apple iPads Do Well For Seniors
  10. Introduction to Tablets
  11. Introduction to an Android Tablet for Seniors (PDF)
  12. Seniors Who Use Internet Cold Reap Health Benefits
  13. Health Advantages Worth a Digital Leap for Seniors
  14. Seniors and Social Media: More Than Keeping Up With the Grandkids
  15. Internet Searching, Tablet technology and Older Adults (PDF)