Every year more schools adopt tablets in the classroom. NERP research shows UK secondary schools expect 26 per cent of student computers to be tablets by 2015 and 57 per cent by 2020. Pupils also expect to see a continued increase, with 89 per cent of teachers agreeing students have an interest in tablets and educational apps.
The trend has already begun and it shows no signs of stopping. But what does this mean for classroom across the UK?
The NERP study reveals nearly 70 per cent of teachers want more evidence that mobile devices benefit education. While education and industry leaders both highlight issues such as funding and security.
None of this stops the use of tablets increasing, though. What it shows is the idea being taken seriously by everyone involved. And while educators and industrialist mull over the benefits and issues of classroom tablets, we’re not only seeing a new market for learning apps and devices, but a rethink of how we should be teaching our students.
In the classroom
Engage. Interact. Collaborate. These are the keywords of tablets in education. Can you think of a resource that engages young minds more than mobile devices? Smartphones and tablets are the tools students most relate to. A classroom that doesn’t engage its pupils can’t even start to teach them. Mobile devices provide a teaching aid which involves students in a way textbooks and projectors never managed.
Tablets and apps provide a fully interactive learning platform. The best teachers get their students involved in lessons – why should resources be any different? We’re moving beyond the days of static words and scripted video. Interactive apps turn pupils from audience to participants, giving them an active role. These are early days too. Apps will only get more dynamic and engaging as developers come up with new ways to create immersive applications.
Finally, we have collaboration. Using a collection of networking technologies, such as cloud computing, collaboration brings classroom interaction into a combined, more engaging experience. Pupils can work in groups or as a class, on single tasks or entire projects. Every contribution can be shared, edited and saved as individual or group efforts.
Outside the classroom
Tablets and smartphones offer students access to learning material anytime, anywhere. Collaboration comes into play yet again. Combined homework efforts, teacher help sessions, revision groups and anything else you can come up with are an internet connection away.
OCED figures show British pupils are falling behind in key subjects like maths, science and reading. We’re falling behind in technology too. Facebook and Google have both admitted difficulty in hiring from the UK, due to a lack of capable professionals.
As technology plays a larger role in all industries, it’s more important than ever pupils can get their hands on new tech at a younger age. Mobile devices are engaging by nature and getting them into primary schools will spark new interest in mobile technology, software and internet technologies – something the UK sorely needs.
Collaboration keeps coming up and it’s a growing trend in business, creative and other professional sectors. The ability to work as part of a team on collaborative projects ranks as one of the top skills employers look for. The sooner pupils start developing these skills, the better equipped they’ll be to enter the working world.
To find out more about what SMART technology can do for you and your students, call the Smarter Interactive team today on 0118 336 0010 and speak to one of our advisors.