School Tablet Programs Becoming Ubiquitous
Manufacturers Jumping On Board
Though the iPad gets most of the limelight, other tablet makers like Intel, Samsung, Google, and Amplify are getting into the game, providing a variety of education programming, apps, and curriculum. From plug-in paint tools to magnifying glasses, tablet makers are competing for a share of the education market by creating new ways to use tablets in class.
Though not an exhaustive list of every type of tablet used in schools, for a list of the top-rated devices for education and a look what’s distinct about each one, check out Beyond the iPad: Schools’ Choices In Tablets Grow | MindShift – KQED.
Tablets are on their way to becoming a standard part of school curriculum, with more and more iPads finding their way into classrooms. With this growing trend in mind, Apple updated its education site to outline the various benefits of using its tablets to teach valuable academic lessons. (full story: Apple Updates Education Site with a Focus on iPad Teaching | Laptop)
Examples of Widespread Tablet Use in High Schools Abound
Archbishop Stepinac High School, in White Plains, N.Y., is one of the first schools in the U.S. to do away with paper textbooks. Instead, the all-boys prep school requires students to use tablets and laptops in class.
At top-rated McCall-Donnelly High School, iPads are everywhere. In the cafeteria, groups of students huddle around their tablets. During breaks, students sit on hallway floors by their lockers, iPads at hand. In computer labs, students work simultaneously on tablets and desktops. And in classrooms, students use the iPads to take notes. McCall’s student-led iPad rollout | Idaho Education News.
Not Without Its Problems
But that doesn’t mean that introducing tablets in schools comes without its problems. Some schools have actually gone the other way, and stopped their school tablet programs. In North Carolina, Guilford Schools Suspend Tablet Program Due To High Number Of Cracked … – WFAE.
Here are a few tips for to help avoid the typical problems associated with introducing a tablet program:
- Have a clear plan for integrating the tablets into day-to-day classroom instruction. If used improperly, tablets can be a serious distraction in the classroom. The key to a successful tablet program is proper integration into pedagogy and great software to make use of the devices. This involves training programs for teachers on how to integrate the technology into their teaching style.
- Make sure there enough budget to purchase software to actually make use of tablets once they’re purchased. This will avoid having the tablets become an overpriced toy that doesn’t bring a ton of teaching value.
- Be prepared to maintain the devices. Tablets are expensive to purchase and can be even more expensive to maintain. Costs can run as high as $150 per device per year. In addition, training and support costs increase the burden on already overworked IT staff at schools.
T.H.E. Journal interviewed a group of school district technology leaders in charge of significant tablet deployments about their deepest pain points during implementation and the solutions they have found. They point to inventory and asset tracking, mass device configuration and management tools as key to a successful tablet program. Read more at 5 Solutions for Your Tablet Management Woes — THE Journal.