All About the App: Tablet Teaching in the Classroom

child reading a tablet by nooccar on flickrTablets have become increasingly ubiquitous since they exploded onto the scene in 2010 with the release of Apple’s iPad. More and more uses are being found for them, and one area has become particularly popular: the classroom. Guest author Glenn Andert explores the benefits of teaching with tablets.

It turns out that tablets have a number of advantages over textbooks when it comes to teaching, and many teachers are now incorporating them into their lessons. So why exactly are tablets proving to be so popular?

Benefits of Teaching with Tablets

Tablets are fun for students. Kids like gadgets, and a gadget like an iPad will instantly increase their interest in the lesson. Part of the attraction of tablets is that they are so easy to use. They are not confusing and clunky like many computers, and instead they are so simple that even young children can use them with ease.

Tablets can also help to make learning more fun. By introducing interactive elements, they can provide greater interest for students. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to learning, and audio-visual material can help to create more appeal for many students.

Part of the appeal of the tablets is the apps that can be run on them. Hundreds of thousands of apps are available, many of which are geared towards learning. They are also easy to find and start using with no technical knowledge required.

There are also the physical benefits of tablets to consider. Tablets are more mobile and agile, making them more convenient than carrying around numerous textbooks. You can also take them out of the classroom on school trips and make use of them in a variety of settings.

Then there are the special features of some tablets. For example, you could use Speak Selection on the iPad to help students who have greater difficulty reading, because it allows them to hear the words aloud.

How Tablets Are Used in the Classroom

Tablets are excellent educational devices, but simply having a high-tech tablet will not automatically improve your lessons. It’s how you use it that matters.

Teachers can make use of tablets successfully in the classroom in a number of ways. Firstly, there are the apps. With so many apps, it makes sense to spend some time looking through the available apps to find the perfect one to complement your lesson. Don’t rely on the app to do the work, but rather use it to add to your lesson.

For example, there are many apps that you can use to help your students when they are learning to read. An app like the Learn to Read App for young readers can combine interactive features, drawings, and sounds to make the learning process more fun. There are also apps associated with maths, geography and science that can help to illustrate a point and make learning more interesting.

You could use apps like Google Earth to bring a geography lesson to life by ‘visiting’ the place you are talking about, or you could find YouTube videos that highlight an important point you are trying to make. There are also apps that you can use to create electronic assessments for your students that they can then complete quickly and easily on their own devices.

Enjoy the Benefits of Tablets in the Classroom

Using a tablet in the classroom can have numerous benefits for your students. If you have not yet introduced a tablet computer into your lessons, begin by thinking about ways that you could make use of one, and see what a difference it could make to your lessons.

Guest author Glenn Andert is the CEO of 8Interactive, which developed the app, Learn To Read. Over 4 million parents and teachers have now used the app to teach their kids to read.

Image from used under the Creative Commons license.  Image credit: noocar.

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