Incorporating Tablet Technology into Education

As the parent of two children, I’m particularly aware of the role of technology their classroom. The school and the PTA have pushed hard via fundraisers and at back-to-school nights to inform parents about various technology initiatives and as an infrequent volunteer in their classrooms, I know that their daily activities include desktop computers, audio playback machines, and more. It’s impressive that today’s students are leveraging the internet and computers for research and skill development.

Yet the consumer tablet revolution may foreshadow the end of these tools as well. Uses for tablet computers and similar interactive devices are becoming more common in the classroom for teachers and students alike. A number of apps have been specifically designed for teachers, covering all kinds of tasks from classroom management to paper grading. (A few popular ones are listed here.) Entrepreneurial educators are undoubtedly already working on improvements to these.

This interesting infographic from Australian-based online course company Open Colleges, first reported by Mashable, provides some insight into how technology fits into the classroom and attitudes toward its use in that space.

Outside the classroom, there are some exciting developments as well. Techcrunch’s article Dream Team Of Children’s TV Producers Create PlaySquare, “Touchable TV” For The iPad shares how an unique start-up is changing how television and technology can positively impact children’s learning experience.

Apple has always had a close association with education and the iPad textbook initiatives announcements in January are certainly in keeping with that tradition. Of course, they’re good business as well. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster saw the angle: “…That “could add upside to our iPad [estimate] of 66 [million units] in [calendar year 2013] and beyond as schools begin to adopt next-gen learning technology over the next 2-5 years,” he wrote. “Apple’s complete solution for digital learning tools on tablets positions the company to be a primary seller of software and hardware in this rapidly changing and growing market.”

I’ll be interested to see how this trend plays out in the next 1-2 years. In certain age groups, the iPad has been primarily a gaming device, but perhaps it may not always be so. How cool it is to live in the future!


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