It was in 2010 when Steve Jobs presented his iPad . 11 years later, this product and other similar products from different brands have made a name for themselves in very diverse sectors. From aviation to engineering, a tablet is always an excellent resource. But it is in the educational world where they are managing to gain a foothold in a large number of centers. Are tablets convenient in the teaching-learning process?
What is a tablet?
The answer to the question will depend on the use to which it is put. A tablet is a mobile device with a screen of at least 7 or 8 inches that allows you to perform very different functions. With them, we can make inquiries on the Internet, send and receive emails, enjoy leisure applications, online banking or games. They can be used as GPS and, in some cases, as a computer.
The arrival of tablets to the educational world began approximately in 2012. Schools in this tool are a good resource to achieve educational goals, since it allows access to a large amount of content from a single place. A tablet or a school is a facilitator of communication, learning, and is also a stimulus for students.
But using tablets in a classroom is not that it replaces the textbook or that we put the content that we project on the digital screen and on the students’ devices. It is a much broader concept that aims to make students build their own knowledge, always with the guidance of teachers.
Why tablets in classrooms?
For the same reason that leeches are no longer applied in medicine or a car is driven without ABS. Incorporating tablets into the teaching-learning process is part of a social demand. Indeed, the children that populate our classrooms are born in this millennium and know the digital reality, although a process of guidance must always be done.
That tablets reach the classroom does not mean that other materials such as textbooks, manuals or notebooks should be banished. They are one more piece of the complex educational process. The tablet manages to complement the whole set, making it more solid if possible. This is one of the reasons why they are increasingly in demand in schools. It is not the same to carry out a task on paper, which must continue to be done, than to offer the possibility of presenting it in video format and that it can be prepared in a short time.
The arrival of tablets in many centers has achieved that part of the student body has been able to demonstrate hidden skills. For example, to elaborate a task in a different way. And it’s all because he gets motivated and sees on the tablet a tool that he understands, that speaks his language and that brings him interest. For part of the students, the tablet is positive because it helps them to get hooked on the subjects they have to learn.
Pros and cons of tablets in education
A tablet always has a double face, and before launching to implement them in any educational center , it is convenient to weigh its pros and cons. Among the advantages of tablets, it is worth highlighting their versatility. You can solve a math problem, watch a video of gravitational forces and the Big Bang, or listen to a podcast in a foreign language. All in the same device and with a single internet connection. But in addition, tablets help to lose weight heavy school bags, since some books can be used in digital format. In the same way, they are a great communication tool. You can turn in a task and have it corrected in a short time, always with the teacher’s feedback.
Tablets always motivate, the desire of the students is to use them and show what they are capable of doing. And this desire to improve helps to compete in a positive way to see who is capable of making the most educational video, presenting the most interesting task or recording the composition of the music class with better sound effects. A tablet is a large library open 24 hours a day.
But not all are advantages, the disadvantages must also be valued. For example, they can be addictive or used in the wrong way. Children are often not clear about the fragile line between real life and what we do on the Internet. What in reality is serious, a case of bullying, if it is transmitted through a mobile device, it is amplified too much. For this reason, the work of guiding mothers, fathers and teaching teams is maximum.
One drawback is the economic one, although there are tablets with an excellent value for money. To your investment you have to add that of digital licenses if you want to have access to the content of the publishers, a cover and a keyboard if deemed appropriate. Introducing tablets in an educational center does not only mean buying them and starting to use them. The teaching staff must be adequately trained, which takes a significant amount of time and money. But there is no doubt that it is worth it, since it means opening education to a reality that has been with us for some time.In addition, we must have an MDM, a software that is installed on a computer of the ICT managers of the center , and that allows tasks such as mass downloading of apps or having control over devices.
Tablets in the education sector are the logical answer to a way of educating that needs different and complementary proposals to the traditional ones. Can you educate without them? It is clear that yes, but giving them a chance is the opportunity to start making a change.