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Tablet Computers in Lessons

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by britmangi04, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. After seeing various tablet computers at BETT this year and having had a bit of a play on a galaxy tab and an iPad, I was curious if any schools have bought tablets yet. I can imagine classroom management as well as wireless may be an issue but could this be where classrooms/ICT rooms are heading?
  2. After seeing various tablet computers at BETT this year and having had a bit of a play on a galaxy tab and an iPad, I was curious if any schools have bought tablets yet. I can imagine classroom management as well as wireless may be an issue but could this be where classrooms/ICT rooms are heading?
  3. God I hope not!
  4. Let me expand:
    - Health and Safety - the touchscreen keyboards are clearly an RSI problem waiting to happen
    - Cost - way to expensive for the computer power they offer, other far cheaper alternatives
    - Classroom management - too easy for students to become distracted playing Angry Birds!
  5. I agree Ben, expense is a big thing at the moment though I'm sure that they will be cheaper soon enough. Games in lesson is a problem no matter if they are tablet or desktop, I don't know what the permissions on tablets are like but I'd have thought they would be similar to desktops. I wouldn't envy the network manager trying to support them though!
    I was thinking they may be useful in group tasks or collaboration though this is not a good enough reason to justify the expense and can be done just as well using desktops or laptops. I was merely curious to see if anyone had any better justifications or seen them used well yet.
  6. Ive seen them used - I work in an independent school and a lot of our students have iPads.

    Some of the students do Keynote etc on them - they prefer the interface - but its not compelling enough for me.
  7. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    I bought my own Android 2.1 tablet. £120 UKP. Works well as a personal device, I would not want to use it in a school environment. No user control whatsoever that I can work out so I don't even left my wife use it!

    Not only kids get distracted by Angry Bird btw.
  8. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    Once again can't see them being used in schools, frankly as it takes longer to type on a screen than a standard keyboard. Cost is biggest concern and you need to wait for android 3.0 ones coming out in the spring. I have an android 2.2 tablet that does flash but its geared for phones so a lot of apps in google marketplace don't play ball and graphics are ropey. However biggest concern like others is that you are going to have to lock them down big time to stop kids getting at the app store. Too much distraction avaiable in them to make them of practical use in a classroom.
  9. Surely the problem is that Tablets are *** all use for anything constructive


    I have 2 IPads; one functions as a very expensive games console and the other as a guitar amp / synthesiser / email m/c. I'm really happy with them for these purposes.

    The productivity suite is a joke; functionality is minimal - not comparable to even the most primitive seen on a pc no matter how far back you go. Getting data onto and off the thing is a painful process (ok this is more to do with Apple control-freakery than a fundamental shortcoming of tablets). Poke is minimal and it is painful to hold and use for a long period; it's a pick it up and put it down 5 minutes later device. There are simply no serious, versatile, powerful applications and I don't think there ever will be.

    In the World of cross-curricular, dumbed-down ICT, it fits into the model of kids being minimally skilled 'net consumers and doing nothing creative, interesting or challenging. But none of that is anything that I would associate with an 'IT teacher'.
  10. Thanks for the responses. I would agree with most, if not all comments. The usability of tablets is a major drawback for use in class and interestingly after asking a couple of students in lesson about them they said most of the things discussed here.
    I personally think (and hope) desktops will always be around but part of that comes from when I was a techie in a school and had to support over a hundred laptops in various departments. If looking after laptops was hard, I can't imagine the state the tablets would be in after a couple of months!
  11. Interesting! We have got hold of a few iPads that are slowly moving them round the staffroom. While many of the issues above are being mentioned there seems to be a great deal of interest in this type of device being used with specific groups of students (small scale use). Word is that the portability, ease of access to functions e.g. the internet and even some of the apps make the device appealing as a supplement to the resources available in a lesson. Does anyone have experience or knowledge of iPad style devices providing unique learning experiences for classes or for students with particular needs?

    I recently attended an Apple Summit but didn't walk away thinking there would be a good return on an investment..yet!
  12. Hi
    I am looking to do a project in the lead to our new build in two years where we get hold maybe a dozen or so tablets of some sort and use them with students etc. I have tried to research schools that use them but can't find any schools using them for teaching and learning other than one in Scotland who have given every pupil an i-pad.
    Our thoughts are that they will be usful as they don't take up as much room on the desk and could be good with research task amongst other things. Do you know of any other schools using them for students?
  13. They're excellent in certain classrooms (science instead of laptops for monitoring?) and certain units in ICT. Overall they're quite limited - if you can get them with Ubuntu Netbook versions on then excellent as you can install class management software on them. The tablet-education market is nowhere near fruition yet and I imagine in a couple of years it'll be all the rage. We're not there in software terms yet though - operating system first but there's no good tablet software programs that would make use of the touch screen for students too. When WordWall etc integrate perfectly into it you've got a great reason to buy them. Now though, waste of money.

    Source: An IMX515 Cortex A8 (Android 2.2) tablet owner.

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