While most popular technological devices have come and gone throughout the years, there has been one device that’s remained a hit when it comes to K-12 education: computer tablets. The iPad, along with many Windows and Android tablets, have not only transformed the way teachers educate their students but the way they communicate with concerned parents as well. This makes things like parent-teacher conferences much easier for educators and more informative for parents and guardians.
But as these mobile devices become more and more common in the American educational experience, the question becomes “What do these devices really add to the education system?”
Although screen time is a touchy subject for a lot of parents, not all technology is bad. According to the National Geographic, research showed that students who spent time interacting with their tablets on a daily basis gained classroom-based knowledge within the first 20 minutes of study. How is this possible?
Educational apps can be used to help young children learn their alphabet, sentence structures, and mathematics. These tools not only help students learn important lessons but can also be used to introduce students to the world of STEM education, which comes as a bonus. So, is there more to this upcoming trend, or is it just used as a way to grab students’ attention and keep them quiet? Even though the answer may vary depending on the individual, some schools have found success using this technology in their curriculum, and here’s how they’ve done so:
Devices at Home: While most parents allow their child to have free reign on the internet when they’re home, some people might think the same rules apply at school. This could be why so many people are against allowing students to access the internet while on campus. The reality, however, is that children are used to technological devices like iPads, smartphones, and computers.
In fact, most children today can’t even remember a time without internet since they were born, knowing that it’s a widely available mainstream platform. It can be hard for educators to meet the individual needs of all their students, especially if they’re operating in a big class. What’s even more difficult is trying to accommodate for all the individual learning styles students have as well. Luckily, technology can help. By using technology at home, students can work at their own pace and are able to meet their individual needs along the way.
Technology that’s used both in the classroom and at home can also give instructors the opportunity to be creative with their homework assignments. By giving students the opportunity to choose their homework or allowing them to have access to certain things, teachers and parents alike can expand their child’s knowledge. So, if you’ve ever imagined a world where the vast majority of students did their homework, then look into classroom technology.
Devices in the Classroom: Despite the ongoing debate regarding iPads in the classroom, these mobile devices have found ways to help educators present content using various teaching methods. One reason devices like iPads should be used in the educational environment is because classrooms are ready for them. While the introduction of tablets in education is a recent phenomenon, the truth is, students have been using them in high school and in college for years now, and they have already gotten themselves familiar with the touch-screen features. Because students today have gotten so used to operating these handheld gadgets, they now expect technology to always be present in their everyday life, which is why incorporating technology in the classroom can have positive results for both students and teachers.
That said, when classes don’t allow children to practice using their devices, students are at a disservice. How? Tablets are designed to fit students’ lifestyles. They’re thin, easy to carry and come to life at the push of a button, which makes it even more reliable to take to class than say, a laptop. Longer battery life also means that students don’t have stress about taking their charger or purposely sit next to an outlet in class. If students miss information from their teacher, they can pull up the instructions using an online platform like Classroom Dojo or Google Classroom to search for instructions.
Preparing for a Technological World: There’s a common misconception about online learning that it requires less study time, which, of course, isn’t true. That’s because classroom technology can help students prepare for the future by building lifelong skills. When it comes to learning technology, it’s not about how fancy the device is; it’s about how engaging the process is.
This is what helps students increase their knowledge and helps them get on the path to success. By using technological devices to enhance learning, students are being equipped with the skills needed to succeed in the future. They aren’t the only ones who benefit from technology usage, however.
Teachers, too, have witnessed firsthand how effective technology can be in the classroom setting. They’ve also grown to recognize the importance of helping students develop these skills before they enter the workforce. The impact technology has on our education system today is significant. With more and more districts adopting these new innovations, students will not only learn how to use emerging technologies — they’ll also be ready for life outside of school once they graduate.
Thanks for the read! Did I miss anything important? What are some other ways handheld devices can improve education for children? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.