Forget Marble Notebooks: High Tech Is Coming To A K-12 Classroom Near You

Written by Dawn Papandrea , a Clonlara School guest blogger  (***Clonlara School does not endorse or recommend any product/service in connection with this author***).

All across the country, K-12 students are settling into the school year, which more than ever probably includes the sort of technology you’d expect to see in a corporate office or college classroom. From video and web conferencing to handheld devices for all students to online testing, the days of number two pencils and teachers writing notes on the blackboard could soon be a thing of the past.

Take a look at some technologies coming to (or already at!) a K-12 classroom near you…

Incorporating Technology Into Every Lesson

Remember when the big excitement at school was getting to watch a video, or if you’re really old, those slideshows that had accompanying records that beeped to prompt you to the next slide? We’ve come a long way when one considers that 52 percent of teachers say they use interactive whiteboards in their classes, and 40 percent have a class wiki or website, according to the Pew Report “The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How Writing is Taught in Schools.”

Even when it comes to test preparation for the SAT, the days of flipping flashcards are over. One company, Benchprep, for example, uses an interactive gaming approach to appeal to high schoolers who are prepping for the college admissions exam.

Testing Online

Unless you’re living under a rock or in one of only 5 states that hasn’t adopted the Commor Core, you’re probably aware that by spring 2015, states must administer a mandatory online assessment to test student proficiency in math and English. Online testing means more students sitting at computers during the school day. As such, public schools are beefing up their IT offerings. In fact, says a CDW-G survey, 83 percent of public school district IT professionals surveyed cited Common Core as one of their top three IT priorities.

Paper and Pencil Is So Retro

Just as many have gotten used to using e-readers instead of hard copy books, the same may happen with school textbooks. In fact, 37 percent of teachers in a “Styles of Learning” survey by Enterasys Secure Networks said they planned to transition to digital textbooks within the next one to five years. At home, students are already getting used to making the switch to digital, as 31% of middle school students say they use tablets to complete homework assignments, according to a Verizon Foundation study.

The World Is Their Classroom

Thanks to video and web conferencing, some lucky students are able to watch presentations, experiments, and other learning events in real time from anywhere in the world. Think of it as the modern day field trip. For instance, some zoos, museums, ­libraries and other organizations have distance learning ­programs specifically designed for schools.

This technology is especially helpful for rural areas that are too far from cultural centers for students to frequent. One such school district in Oklahoma has been using mobile video conferencing with great success, according to an article in EdTech Magazine.

It’s just a matter of bringing video conferencing equipment into schools as companies like InterCall do to facilitate educator’s needs.

Online Courses

Beyond technology in the classroom, many K-12 students are taking courses right from their own homes via online learning. For example, Iowa Learning Online is currently serving 800 students, and has plans to expand and grow the program. Teachers broadcast to students via webcams or use technologies like Skype or Adobe Connect.

Technology in learning has come a long way in a short time, and will likely continue improving as it becomes more accessible and user friendly. Just imagine what the classroom will look like five years from now!

About the author: Dawn Papandrea is a Staten Island, NY-based writer specializing in education, careers, parenting, and personal finance. Her work has appeared in publications including Family Circle, Parents, WomansDay.com, CreditCards.com, and more. She has a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from New York University. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.

Advertisements

Special Ed Goes High Tech

This infographic was supplied by Wendy Turner, a Clonlara School guest blogger (***Clonlara School does not endorse or recommend any product/service in connection with this author***).

Students with special needs face challenges that may not be apparent to the rest of the world. They work hard to improve certain skills so that they can act as members of society, and it is important to give them the tools that they need to succeed. Unfortunately, the federal government only provides a total of 15 percent of the cost associated with caring for a child with special needs. Parents are left trying to cover the expensive costs of tutoring services or technology programs that can assist in the educational development of a special needs child.  Students can have a wide range of special needs for which they require supportive educational services and technology programs. Some students suffer from speech impediments, while other students may suffer from emotional disorders. Some students may have hearing or visual impairment. A student may be mentally retarded or have learning disabilities that make it difficult for him or her to adapt to a school environment. Those who have had a traumatic brain injury may also be considered special needs children.  It is important for school communities to embrace those who have disabilities. Students should feel like they are members of the community and should feel accepted. They should feel a sense of joy in attending school and not view their specific classes as punishments for a disability. Students who have disabilities have certain rights that are codified into law, and it is vital that school systems recognize these rights. Even if a school budget must expand to meet the costs of schooling special needs children, this should not be a major concern of school boards. School boards should be ready and willing to meet the expenses that are associated with educating a child who has special needs.  Students who have special needs should also have access to the latest technology in the classroom. They should have access to laptops and net-books that can enhance their educational experience. Digital textbooks can also make learning more enjoyable and fun for those who have disabilities. School districts should seriously consider making these investments in technology to meet the needs of disabled children.  Source: http://www.special-education-degree.net/technology

spec-ed-goes-high-tech_650

How to Handle Dyslexia

Written by Sharon Simmons, a Clonlara School guest blogger  (***Clonlara School does not endorse or recommend any product/service in connection with this author***)

Dyslexia can cause various learning difficulties because it is a language based learning disability. The symptoms of this disability is a range of learning difficulties. This condition that can affect any person of any age, gender or ethnicity. Most of the time the problems of word recognition is what comes as the very first sign of this condition. The brains of those who suffer from this condition see the words differently than a non-dyslexic person. When an individual found to be having difficulties of reading fluently, writing, misspelling the chances are high that person is having a dyslexic condition. During the childhood sometimes these conditions are not recognized. Then further studies such as handling grammar becomes even harder since they have difficulty of understanding words. Performing mathematical calculations is another common difficulty for dyslexic students.

The dyslexic people often find it difficult to have a clear conversation with the others. As they have problems of handling the language what they say might mean very little or even be taken as gibberish. Often the children who have this condition gets misunderstood as lazy or dumb. This is a really sad situation since they are practically getting punished for a condition they are born with. Also it can affect their personality when they are labelled like this. How much they try they will not be able to improve themselves as it is beyond their personal control. When they grow up this seeps in their thinking and they find themselves to be unsuccessful individuals and that may lead to many other psychological conditions as well.

So it is really important to have them consulted with a qualified professional. If a child is identified with this condition at a very early stage a considerable change can be made to the way the he/she learns and can be trained to learn the way they understand. Sometimes when they read the context does not get to their heads but if they hear the same context they will perfectly understand. So it is mainly a way of understanding their capabilities of grasping and processing information on a personal level. Since it is a neurobiological disorder the way each person react to sound and sight may be unique to each person. Hence the way you treat one dyslexic child may be totally different to the way another child with the same condition will react.

After all adults with dyslexia who happened to get the right guidance can blossom into professional individuals. There are so many engineering, architecture,design and medical professionals who had struggled with their primary education before they got the appropriate attention for their dyslexia. Though it is said that some of those professionals still have difficulty with time management and organization.

Unfortunately there is no cure for this condition. But proper diagnosis and dedication from the family members and friends can help these individuals to learn any subject just like the others and achieve high school or even university education.

About the author:  This is a guest article by Sharon Simmons from Paddington. Sharon is working as a freelance content writer. Currently Sharon is writing some interesting articles about internships in Madrid. Have a look on her Tweets@SharonSimmons90″.

Helpful Educational Strategies

Written by Jackie Ufer, advisor for the home based education program of Clonlara School.  While this article was written for the homeschooling parent, we believe it is also true of families who are seeking educational choices for their children is campus based programs as well.

Many parents are home educating children who have a disability. Children with learning disabilities and ADHD are the two largest subgroups who receive accommodations through disability legislation (Parker et al, 2011). At times these parents may feel their children’s needs are not being met in the public school system, but also feel anxious or unsure how to effectively address their children’s learning needs on their own at home. Parents often ask their Clonlara Advisor for a product or curriculum that is designed for a child with a special learning need. Although there are several wonderful products and curricula for sale, effective learning best occurs with the use of curriculum material combined with effective strategies. This article is meant to provide and describe research-based strategies that can be incorporated with any learning activity at any age level. The strategies described below have been proven to increase the transfer of information from short-term to long-term memory as well as increase retrieval of previously learned information from long term memory.

Build Self-Efficacy: Self- efficacy is the ability level or confidence a person feels they have in a particular skill area. When a student has a high level of self-efficacy in a particular area they tend to employ higher-order thinking and persevere longer in challenging activities. A sense of self-efficacy is very important for any student, but especially for students who have been told they have a “disability” and may feel inadequate because they cannot learn in the same ways as their peers. It is important to teach these students that they CAN learn and are just as smart and talented as their peers. They just learn in a different way. Help them discover what their talents are and the best ways for them to be successful learning new information.

Goal Setting: Make goals clear at the beginning of a learning activity. Let the student set personal and academic goals. Two useful activities for this are “3-2-1.” The student describes 3 things they already know or think they know- 2 things they would like to learn more about- and 1 thing they find interesting about the topic. And “K-W-L” – what do you Know – what do you Want to learn – and what did you Learn?

Plans for Achieving Goals: Depending on the age level, make a plan for how the goal will be accomplished. Brainstorm activities that sound interesting and productive with the student. With older students, this will give them a sense of control over their own education. Younger students often enjoy monitoring their progress towards a goal. Discuss progress toward the goal and make a visual.

Build background knowledge: Be aware of previous knowledge a student needs to know in order to learn a new skill. Also, be aware of whether the student possesses this knowledge and teach it if necessary.

Short instruction time: Keep instruction time short and engaging. The average attention span is about 7 minutes and the brain usually decides whether the information is pertinent within the first 1 – 3 seconds. If the brain decides the information being presented is important, it will continue to take in the rest of the information and hold in short-term memory for 20- 30 seconds. After that, it will transfer to long-term memory based on follow-up activities using new information. Give short breaks during longer activities and then review when the break is over to get the brain “back on track.”

Chunking: Breaking information into small, manageable parts. When covering a large amount of information, it is best to break it into chunks containing about 7 (+ or -) pieces. Also, try to group information with other related information. If the learner can make a connection to new information, he or she is more likely to retain it.

Scaffolding: When a new concept is introduced, it’s ok to guide learning and “jog” a student’s memory. Giving hints that assist in information processing or retrieval is part of a process called scaffolding. When we scaffold, we give hints and slowly take the hints away as a student becomes more confident with new information or skills.

Multiple modalities: Use multiple modalities for learning so different parts of the brain are activated. Different learners have different processing strengths neurologically. Modalities include visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic (movement).

Errorless Learning: Monitor the learning of new information closely. Once a pathway in the brain of a child with a learning disability has been formed, it is much harder to form a new correct pathway as compared to the brain of a student without a processing disorder.

Modeling: Have a peer or mentor the student respects model a new skill. Often when we see someone we view as similar to ourselves accomplish a task, we will then feel as if we can do it too. When people feel confidence entering into a challenge (self-efficacy as described above), they tend to have higher perseverance, use problem-solving skills, and employ more higher-order thinking to learning activities.

Real life application and Problem Solving: Present students with problems to solve independently that will require them to apply new and old knowledge. Allow students multiple ways to solve a problem.

Constant review: Students with processing disorders need more repetition and structure.

Jackie Ufer is an advisor for the home based education program at Clonlara School.  She wrote this article for The Learning Edge newsletter and kindly let us re-use it.  

25 Ways To Use Tablets To Enhance The Learning Experience

Written by Julie DeNeen, a Clonlara School guest blogger (***Clonlara School does not endorse or recommend any product/service in connection with this author***)

Tablet in learning

When I was a kid, I dreamt about our school desks as computer screens.

How cool would it have been to be able to draw, write, and learn directly onto my own computer? As the years went on, people theorized that laptops would take over the classroom, but the price of these devices was too high for a 1 to 1 ratio. It never quite caught on in lower grade schools.

Now, it is the age of the tablet. We have affordable high-powered computers that can provide all sorts of enrichment through an intuitive touch screen interface and the education world is taking notice. More and more classrooms are imagining the curriculum in the context of EACH child having his or her own tablet.

Yet, some educators are still skeptical. How can a piece of technology truly enhance the learning process, without causing distraction?

1. Art

In a subject like art, people might think, “How could a tablet be useful? Isn’t it about organic materials?”

It is, but what about an app that helps with color matching and combination, or tools for interior design where the child can map out their project in concept before getting to work? Of course, there are fantastic drawing apps as well, and students can use a stylus for more precision.

When they are done, they can share in galleries with other students for critique and encouragement.

2. Music

App developers have continually surprised the public with the complexity of tools they are able to create for tablets. Students can write their own music, record a song with an app like Garage Band or Studio Track, or download music history encyclopedias that provide interactive songs and information about all the greatest classics.

Music theory is fun when you employ the use of Piano Pro or others that allow students to try out an instrument without having to purchase a piano.

3. Video connections

Classrooms are their own little society and for years, teachers have aimed to broaden horizons through pen pal programs and field trips. With video chat as a standard feature on most tablets, students can watch a veterinarian perform surgery or have a Google+ hangout with a class halfway across the world.

It is an affordable way to see the world without having to actually leave the room.

4. Science

Some of the coolest apps on the market are geared towards science buffs. Your class will come alive when you assign them the job of using Star Walk for iPad, an app that will label stars and constellations in the night sky. Don’t like to dissect a frog?

There’s an app for that.

Everything from the periodic table of elements to brain science, anatomy, plants, glossaries- apps can be the springboard for scientific curiosity.

5. Presentations

Public speaking is an important skill for students to learn.

Gone are the days of PowerPoint presentations with little lasers. Now, tablets have fantastic apps that can be used to do real-time drawing, writing, and animation during a presentation. Students can circle, highlight, or write in points as they present their latest research or findings.

When they are done, the presentation is saved and can be emailed to the teacher for grading.

6. History

History can be a difficult subject for young children who are notoriously stationed in the present day. However tablets can bring to life ancient civilizations through interactive ebooks, videos, and even games that outline the trials and hardships of the people who’ve gone before us. I remember playing the Oregon Trail as a child and loving the concept. Now the Oregon Trail can be played on a tablet and students can collaborate together to accomplish missions.

7. Writing

Blogs are a great way to get students interested in writing.

The act of putting words on paper can be lonely and tedious, but with real-time responses and comments, it triggers motivation for some children. Rather than writing a book report that will get thrown into the recycling bin at home, have them journal and blog about the book they are reading, inviting feedback from their classmates.

8. Photos

Photography is not only a skill in and of itself; it is also a great way to document projects and research. Almost every tablet on the market comes with a quality camera that can be used to take still pictures or videos. Imagine your students getting excited by the prospect of photo documenting their town, a nature walk, or writing biographies of each student in the class.

For higher-level grades, there are apps that can help teach important photography taking and editing skills.

Read more about 20 out-of-the-box ways to use Instagram in the classroom.

9. Research

Every project starts with a bit of research. Not only do tablets give students the largest knowledge database at their fingertips, but why not have them write for Wikipedia after finishing a report on Ancient Egypt?

Research that is to be used for the furthering of human knowledge somehow seems more purposeful this way.

10. Connections

Tablets provide an instantaneous connection between parents, students, and teachers. It may be easy to lose a handwritten note or assignment, but as the tablet goes back and forth between home and school, parents can monitor their student’s assignments, teachers can notify parents, and all around connections can be sustained.

11. E-books

Textbooks are expensive. They are also hard on the environment and inefficient. When the information is outdated, an entire new version must be released. E-books solve this problem. Not only can students highlight and bookmark easily, they can even be inspired to create their own e-book!

Tablets may be an investment, but when you add up the cost and time of textbooks, you realize how quickly it pays itself back.

12. Eco-friendly

Following on the previous item, tablets are a huge savings for the environment. Paper waste is eliminated, along with the unnecessary time of collating, copying, and printing out documents that are destined for the trash anyway. Imagine the amount of paper saved if a child went through 12 years of schooling using a tablet for all his e-books, papers, projects, and studies?

That is a lot of paper!

13. Efficiency

Tablets are more efficient. Teachers can pre-list assignments for the day and student’s can see the schedule before even arriving. Communication is fast and instant between the teacher and child as well. There is less time grading, sorting, and filing.

14. Money Management

The world’s current financial crisis highlights a crack in education; we aren’t raising our children to manage money properly. With tablets in the classroom, older students can use stock market apps or budgeting apps to simulate what it would be like to own a business or a run a household.

Younger children can use games that teach them not only how to identify coins and dollars, but how to spend and save too.

15. Social Media

Despite the continued negative association with social media as an addictive time waster, there are lots of benefits to having a mini “facebook” platform for the classroom.

Kids can post homework or writing assignments and get feedback. Students can practice encouraging one another with positive support. The teacher can also monitor the digital “atmosphere” of the room and make sure no bullying or cliques are forming. These classroom platforms help bond students together and provide a safe way to share.

16. Simulation

It might be too expensive to test fly a jet or scale Mount Everest, but simulation games have been around a long time- used to train surgeons, pilots, and military. For a career unit, why not have each student choose a skill and run a simulation game? At the end of the unit, they can write a report about the advantages and disadvantages.

Games, when used in moderation, can boost creativity and imagination.

17. Computer Skills

The world is run by computers and the more adept students are at navigating them, the better equipped they will be for the real world. Having a tablet in the classroom for each student guarantees that children will have the necessary typing and other skills necessary for future jobs.

In addition to generic computer skills, there are fantastic apps that teach computer coding, computer development, and other IT skills that can benefit them in the long run.

18. Personal Responsibility

Tablets force students to learn about personal responsibility. Losing a tablet is much more pricey than losing a homework assignment or a book. While some may argue that children aren’t capable of handling such an expensive device, as long as schools use the industrial strength covers, students can easily be expected to take care of and keep track of their tablet computer.

19. Fiscal Savings

Tablets run anywhere from $200-$600 a piece. For a class size of 20, this can be upwards of $12,000.00.

That may seem like a lot, but when you think about the amount of free tools, resources, and books that are available on the iPad  (for example), you will quickly see that to purchase the same amount of equipment and books would cost thousands more. The camera alone would be about $200.00 per child. Then there is the cost of copying, ink, drawing tools, etc.

Tablets are a fiscally responsible option.

Read more about why BYOD is a good idea.

20. Testing

Do you remember filling in those little bubble tests for the machine to check and see if you were smart?

Those testing methods may be efficient, but with a  tablet, teachers can use all sorts of innovative ways to gauge how well their students are learning the material. YouTube has a beta style testing tool where students answer questions during a video lecture. Proctored online exams can be taken on tablets as well. These exams free the teacher to spend more time teaching and less time grading.

Charts, graphs, and classroom analysis is easy when test scores are already digitized.

21. Learning Styles

Do you have one student that learns better when they listen to a lecture rather than read? With a tablet, you can teach the same information in different ways to different students.

A history lesson might work better for some to read, some to listen to the audio, and still some to interact with a game that tests them on important points along the way. It is impossible for a teacher to cater to each individual student’s learning style, but the tablet can help with this immensely.

22. Choices

Psychologically, children do better when they are offered choices. Students that are labeled with ADHD or other behavioral problems may benefit when a teacher is able to say, “Okay, today we are learning our multiplication facts. There are several games you can choose from.”

This way, the student feels a sense of empowerment in his own learning and the teacher is able to give autonomy to the child.

23. Special needs

For those who are deaf, tablets can be a lifesaver. Others with different handicaps (autism, down syndrome, etc.) can have their curriculum tailored through specific apps that help them learn through the faculties they have.

An autistic student may not be able to sit in a group of children and voice his opinion, but maybe he could write it out in an online format? As tablets become more commonplace, I’ll bet we start to see more special education tools for educators.

24. Foreign Language

Need to learn another language, but don’t have a teacher who is fluent in a language like Dutch or Mandarin?

There’s an app for that! Students can have an individualized foreign language program, with one learning Spanish, and another learning German. Once they’ve mastered some skills, why not use Google Hangouts or Skype to connect with a pen pal across the world?

25. Current events

Keep up with the latest news around the world. Maybe your students are used to reading CNN, but with a tablet, they can check out news outlets from around the world and even have lively discussions about how biased the media is depending on the nation.

The media is a huge influence in our lives and learning how to think critically without swallowing information is crucial.

Julie DeNeen has her bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of New Haven. She spent several years working for a local Connecticut school at the district level, implementing new technologies to help students and teachers in the classroom. She also taught workshops to teachers about the importance of digital student management software, designed to keep students, parents, and teachers connected to the learning process.   You can find out more about her @jdeneen4 and Google+.

iPads In The Classroom

Written by Cheryl Luzet, a Clonlara School guest blogger (***Clonlara School does not endorse or recommend any product/service in connection with this author***)

iPad technology is ideal for use in education: the devices are portable enough to transport easily, and load quickly. Students bringing their iPads into lessons can use them to take notes, post their homework and for internet research. However, when all students in a class are given an iPad, the teacher can make use of the technology to create an interactive lesson that is engaging and memorable.

The device is very inclusive: the touch screen of iPads allows greater accessibility than any other computer device. They make ideal learning tools for students who learn with their hands, called kinaesthetic learners, who are able to manipulate and explore objects with the touch screen technology. This type of learner struggles to sit quietly and listen, meaning that they are often not well-catered for in the traditional classroom environment. Even students with limited fine motor skills can make use of the educational apps, navigating using their hands.

iPads are inspiring creativity in classrooms all over the world. Students can make a video, use an app to write a song or draw a picture without any paper or equipment. Homework can be submitted, and corrected, at a much faster rate. Work completed individually in class can be shown to other students on an interactive whiteboard at the click of a button. Students can engage in live discussions at home with their classmates: this is ideal for including the students who may be too nervous to speak in class.

Anne Laure Bazin is a teacher at the state high school Mounts Bay Academy School in Cornwall, in the UK. At her school, every teacher, teaching assistant and pupil are given a free iPad for use at home, or at school. Since the iPads were made available, she says, the way she teaches has changed:

“The iPads really help with communication. Students now email me questions late at night and I’m able to reply to them. In class, we can post one child’s work on the interactive whiteboard and discuss it. The iPad allows me to access the school’s attendance database so I can see straight away which students are in that day, and which room I can find them in.

“In class, the students have the whole world at their fingertips. A dictionary is a click away. It’s great for cultural awareness as they can research information on special days and holidays in other countries.

“Having the iPads has completely changed the way they work at home. Now I ask them to record themselves speaking in French and I can check their pronunciation. The lessons are more interactive and the students are really enjoying the experience. I don’t think the novelty will ever wear off.”

Breakage and loss can be a problem; students have to wait several weeks for a replacement after a breakdown and in every class there is often a handful of students who have to share an iPad as a result.

However, even in Anne Laure’s school, the iPad hasn’t replaced traditional teaching methods entirely. The students are still given textbooks and exercise books to write in: one of the major concerns for parents when the iPads were introduced was that students would lose the habit of handwriting.

This is a guest blog by BBC Active, who make lessons more enjoyable and engaging with high quality educational television programs  from the BBC.

How Tablets are Transforming Education

Written by Megan Veschio, a Clonlara School guest blogger

Mobile learning has become incredibly popular over the last few years, with the tablet leading the way. Incredibly portable and easy to use, tablets are able to personalize learning and extend learning beyond classroom walls. At a fraction of the cost of a traditional laptop, tablets offer a wide variety of benefits.

Personalized Learning
When lessons are delivered via mobile devices, especially tablets, students are able to progress at the pace that best suits them. Students who quickly grasp a concept are able to move on to the next lesson, while students who require extra time are able to review the lesson as needed and take their time without slowing others down.

Mobile devices also allow for additional information to be included for those students who would like to learn more about a particular subject. Links to resources can easily be imbedded into lessons as a starting point for deeper learning. With an internet connection, there is no limit to how much an interested student can learn about a topic.

Additionally, tablets are a great way to appeal to multiple types of learners. Those who learn by reading are able to choose a text version of the information, those who prefer visual stimulus are able to watch videos and those who need to hear something in order to understand are able to listen to audio clips and recordings. Each student is able to choose the delivery method that works best for him/her.

Digital Textbooks
Traditional textbooks provide a variety of drawbacks. They are heavy, outdated as soon as they are printed and limited to what can be included on a printed page. However, when using mobile devices, another option emerges – the etextbook.

eTextbooks are able to provide much more than a traditional textbook. Because they are not limited to what can be printed, etextbooks can incorporate videos, audio, external links and mini quizzes directly into their pages. Additionally, students are able to take notes and highlight information directly within the book without damaging it for the next user. If a difficult word is encountered, students can tap the word for a definition. Students no longer need to switch between resources in order to achieve all this.

Instead of having to carry around multiple heavy textbooks, etextbooks can all be stored on a single lightweight tablet. With all of their books in one place, students are less likely to forge the one they need.

Mobility
Tablets are much easier to handle while in a car than books and paper notes, making them a valuable study tool during the commute to and from school each day. Everything a student needs is in one place. With tablets, students no longer have to search for a lost piece of paper or wait to complete work until they have access to a computer. Instead, they are able to complete their work wherever they are, be it studying for an exam, writing a paper for class or reading their textbook.

Touch Screen
Perhaps the largest benefit of a tablet is the touch screen. Even the youngest students are able to quickly learn how to navigate a touch screen device. And for those who have trouble with fine motor skills such as holding a pencil or using a keyboard, touch screens provide an easy way to express themselves.

Some educators have even found that students who have trouble putting their ideas on paper had an easier time with a mobile device. With pen and paper, whenever something is not right or a student changes their mind, time must be spent erasing. This small break in the flow of ideas can often lead to lost ideas and frustration. However, with a touch screen, changing what has previously been typed or drawn does not take as much effort, nor does it seem like such a big task. This small change allows students to try out ideas they might have avoided otherwise.

From their ability to personalize learning, to their ability to lighten a student’s backpack mobile devices are revolutionizing education. With the world at his or her fingertips, what will your student discover through using a mobile device for learning?

Megan Veschio enjoys writing about using technology in education and how it can transform the way students learn. Learn more about using technology in education at http://www.mediacastblog.com.