There’s a debate about whether too much technology is in the classroom. Allowing students to use tablets in the classroom is often thought of as distracting and lacking in promoting face-to-face communication.
However, there are teachers promoting it. An article from The Journal, explains that according to a study done last year “a full 73 percent of Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers surveyed said their students use mobile phones inside and outside the classroom to complete assignments.”
If you’re still on the fence about students using tablets in the classroom, here’s why we think it’s beneficial to students and teachers:
Students stay engaged
Laptops and tablets for students are an extremely useful tool in the classroom; not only because they hold so many advanced options for learning, but also because most students are already familiar with the technology and using a tool students enjoy is more likely to keep them engaged.
A study held by Pearson, found that 90 percent of college students and high school seniors who own tablets believe that tablets are just as valuable for educational purposes as they are for personal entertainment. It also found that a majority of college students prefer digital books more than print, and more students have turned to digital reading.
Even in young students feel more comfortable using iPads in classrooms.
Tablets could be less daunting to students, too. Marita Scarfi, CEO of digital-focused marketing agency Organic, says that moving textbooks to mobile devices will reinvent learning.
“Students’ interaction with the device was more personal. You could tell students were more engaged,” said Coleman Kells, principal of Amelia Earhart Middle School. “Using the iPad was more normal, more understandable for them.”
If a student can focus and interact by learning with a tablet, then using that tool seems to be their best option for success.
Studies show improved test scores
There have been numerous studies that show the use of tablets in the classroom has improved test scores. For example, as reported by The Loop, Auburn did a study with kindergartners sending iPads to the classrooms for literacy learning. Some students used an iPad while others did not.
The 266 students participating in the study were tested before the study and then after. Students who used the iPads performed better in every literacy measure in the post-test than those who did not use iPads. The study also showed that students using the iPads had higher levels of motivation and engagement while using the iPads.
The Loop also reports that app use has reportedly improved algebra test scores for eighth-grade students. The study required that 80 percent of iPad use was done outside of the classroom so more one-on-one training could be done in the classroom. Compared to students using traditional teaching only, students using the algebra app scored 49 percent higher.
While both of these studies are only a representative study and may not be the solution for all students, the results show that the use of apps intended for learning have a tendency to increase student test scores in comparison to the students who are taught only by traditional teaching.
Smart technology is the future
Students today have never lived in a world without mainstream internet. The Census report of Computer and Internet Use in the U.S. states that in 2011 “75.6 percent of households reported having a computer, compared with only 8.2 percent in 1984, and 61.8 percent in 2003.” The use of internet is showing a steady increase and students should be well prepared for beneficial ways to use internet and the smart-technology that is changing it.
According to Pew Research’s Internet Project by 2025 many people will be wearing devices that allow them connect to the internet. Smartwatches and Google Glass are only the beginning. It also predicts that communities will be surrounded with embedded devices and apps that “enable more efficient transportation and give readouts on pollution levels.”
If today’s young generation is going to live in a world surrounded by technology, than they should be introduced to it now in a way that’s not all about games, but about how it can make them smarter.