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Tablets for Teaching Kids

Can the iPad and Android Tablet help improve early childhood skills?

Teachers are increasingly tech savvy
Types of interactive tech teachers use:
93% use Laptops/Desktops,
55% use Interactive Whiteboards,
34% use Tablets/iPads,
34% use handheld devices and
5% use multi-touch tables/surfaces.

So are kids:
More than 50% of teachers as well as administrators said children use technology 5 days a week in their classroom and less than 10% of them said children use technology less than once a week.

iPads and tablets are already widely used in the classroom:

In elementary school:

1/3 of students surveyed (32 percent) said they use small tablets versus 21 percent using larger tablets.
26 percent use basic ebook readers
5 percent netbooks
[a full 35 percent use smartphones]

In middle school, the numbers skew slightly more toward smart phones and laptops:

• 25 percent use small tablets;
• 23 percent use larger tablets;
• 17 percent use basic e-book readers; and
• 12 percent still use netbooks.
[ 70 percent of middle school students use laptops for learning; 66 percent use desktops; 47 percent use smart phones]

And in high school:

• 19 percent use full-size tablets for educational purposes;
• 17 percent use small tablets;
• 16 percent use basic e-book readers; and
• 10 percent use netbooks.
[75 % use laptops; 65% desktops and 60% smartphones]

Why should technology be used in the classroom?
80% of teachers and 69% of administrators said, “The children enjoy it”.
54% of teachers and 48% of administrators said, “Technology helps children meet the goals of the program”.
60% of teachers and 54% of administrators said, ”To support dual language learners”.
65% of teachers and 69% of administrators said, “To support children who have special needs”
And less than 10% of them said that they used technology only for teacher-controlled activities.

Ways students use tablets/iPads in school:

70% for research
70% for homework
55% check assignments
47% take notes in class
46% read digital textbooks
39% check class schedules
33% take exams

8 million: number of iPads in classrooms in first four years after introduction
94%: Apple’s share of tablets in education [see pros and cons below]
107,844: number of education apps in Apple’s App store
97,000: number of educational apps in Android’s Google Play store

Pros…and cons of iPads in k-12

iPads, Pros:
• Students love them- iPads in the classroom will get even the most stubborn students excited and engaged.
• Good battery life
• Apps galore
• Platform for e-textbooks
• Communication tool- Have any shy students not willing to speak out in class? Using iPads in the classroom can help fix that.
• Great content viewer
• User-friendly to students with disabilities- There are many apps for students with cognitive disabilities.
• Lightweight and portable
• Fast and easy to use

• Doesn’t support flash- one of the biggest criticisms of the iPad is its lack of ability to work with Adobe Flash and JavaScript.
• No USB port
• Lack of multi-tasking- multiple windows and files can’t be kept open side by side. Expensive
• Potential to be distracting
• Lack of production capabilities- a great content viewer, but not as great for content creation.
• Typing is sometimes frustrating
• Not good for sharing. With the incapability to enter logins, each student needs his/her own. Personal information can’t be stored if students are sharing iPads.


Pearson Student Mobile Device Survey 2013, published April 2013
Source (of education apps numbers): Ed Tech