As promised I’m going to look at the potential for using tablets (ie Xoom, iPad…) in education. So, there are a lot of people who want to know if tablets are the next educational innovation. My first response is: that depends on your educational purpose. When we are talking about technology tools, whether it is hardware or software, it has to come back to the purpose. It comes down to these questions:
- What is your learning objective?
- What is the best ‘process’ to achieve the learning objective?
- What result will show you that your students really achieved the learning? (and can transfer that knowledge…)
William M. Ferriter (@plugusin and the Tempered Radical) wrote a great article in the February 2011 edition of Educational Leadership entitled ‘Good Teaching Trumps Good Tools’ that really got to the heart of the purpose:
Students sitting in high-tech classrooms armed with interactive whiteboards, iPads, and handheld video cameras but staffed by teachers who can’t craft lessons that integrate the skills needed for success aren’t any better off than their counterparts in unplugged classrooms. Good teacher trumps good tools every time.
So, that brings me back to tablets in education. I created the following diagram that you can refer to when you are wondering if you should use a tablet or other device… With that said, remember often you don’t just need a device for one of these purposes so you will need to also think about your overall learning environment.