Tablets in the Classroom Computing has taken on a new face, due to the popularity of mobile devices which Steve Jobs referred to as post-PC-era products. Some researchers feel the new tablet devices* represent a change in consumer behavior: It's not just the device, it's the social behavior; it's a social trend.
Content taken from ComputeEd Gazzette
School districts intending to use the new technology must decide between the two market leaders: Apple's iPad (running Apple iOS) or the Google Android tablet (from Samsung, Motorola, Hewlett Packard and others). Proponents for digitizing classrooms believe it could eventually save schools as much as $3 billion a year in textbook costs, etc. Others caution that drawbacks exist, such as ongoing software and/or hardware support; surviving ownership by toddlers and teens; infrastructure costs, e.g., replacing broken tablets…
On the assumption that integration of digital technologies into the learning environment and embedding these technologies into a teacher's pedagogical practice can have a positive impact on student engagement, motivation and attitudes, we have selected two iPad entries that merited awards in this year's EDDIES:
For teachers struggling to select from among the thousands of educational apps for the iPad, eSpark Learning has a solution: The program, designed for ages 4-12, offers personalized learning plans embedded with links to relevant third party educational apps (available/downloadable from the iTunes Store).
Students are given "quests" to complete. Assessment tools enable teachers and parents to see reports and recommend areas for improvement. eSpark's approach is the following: Diagnose learning level; enable academic goal setting; recommend the best educational games, apps, podcasts, & eBooks; challenge students with daily quests; report & celebrate success.
The apps that accompany the learning plans are graphically appealing, comprehensive and creative. For example, in the Language Standards Grade 4 unit:
- BrainPOP provides daily movies that are designed for kids, using multimedia, educational cartoons to teach Science, Social Studies, English, Math, and more
- iTooch English Grade 5, which is comprised of 44 chapters/lessons, has examples, illustrations, practice questions and tests, and utilizes 3 thematic units - grammar, verbs, vocabulary & spelling.
Children will find the design of the learning plans easy to follow, and much is to be learned from the multi-subject, interactive educational activities provided by the apps.