Date: Thursday 13th June, 2013
Session Title: Are tablets making an impact in classrooms & which applications support learning?
Summary via Nightzookeeper Website.
I hosted a very interesting debate last Thursday evening, which looked into the use of tablets in schools across the country. There was some debate around iPad vs Android and also a huge list of app recommendations that spilled out of the hour long session. I aim to summarise the debate in this blog post, which will hopefully spark some thoughts and ideas to implement in your classrooms.
@eylanezekiel “Tablets can only be as trans-formative and positive as the pedagogy in which they are a tool”
We were reminded at the beginning of the session that tablets are only as good as the pedagogy that surrounds them. They are a tool to enhance learning and can only be effective with thorough planning in place of high paced, stimulating lessons. Having said that, it is true that tablets are changing the way lessons can be planned and we are hearing more and more about a personalised approach to teaching and learning as digital allows for more freedom for children to take in information at their own speed.
@StuBillington “Thing about iPads is…they just work! Very user friendly and extremely low fault rate”
It certainly appeared throughout the chat that iPads were the tablet of choice. They were given an exceptional review by most teachers that used them. We learnt that students find them very intuitive to use, which aids to the flow of a lesson. There were warnings against buying into one system and restricting students to one digital experience. It is important to expose children to a range of digital experiences from an early age as you would with any subject or tool.
Other tablets and laptops were cited as good alternatives to the iPad including:
@simonwithey – Asus transformer tablets
@Mrlockyer – Chromebook
@eylanezekiel – Blackberry Playbooks
@danpo_ “Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur reading tonights #ukedchat tweets, then I think, no I love textbooks and exercise books”
Is the textbook on it’s way out? It would certainly appear so based on some of the tweets throughout the session. There was a number of teachers that had moved almost into a paperless system with children spending the majority of their time on the tablets. However, a number of teachers stated their love of textbooks and the maintaining an element of the physical world in an ever increasing digital education system.
@newways2learn “Training is absolutely key & should focus on unlocking the creativity of teachers through the use of tablets”
We also spoke briefly about the training involved during the implementation of tablets. It appeared that most teachers were self taught and that little formal training was taking place in schools in regards of how to use tablets to best support learning. It was also noted that ukedchat and similar online communities provided great support networks for teachers looking to branch out and broaden their use of tablets and edtech in the classroom.
If you would like to learn more from last week’s session you can visit the archive here.
Here are a list of the apps that were mentioned during the hour:
Showbie; Dropbox; Edmodo; Symbaloo; Zondle; Skitch; Google docs; socrative.
Any further thoughts or questions about the session please do contact me on @nightzookeeper.
Thanks to all for contributing and I look forward to next week!