There is one universal truth about every classroom in every part of the world: Each one is different. Each class is a collection of individuals, and each individual has different experiences, home lives, skill sets, interests, and abilities. Most teachers will freely admit that unless they can differentiate the teaching, they will lose a percentage of a room in some subjects. Some minds move faster than the group, grasp concepts immediately, and grow bored, inattentive, and occasionally disruptive if the pace is too slow. On the flip side, some kids struggle to keep up, need help grasping concepts, or crave repetition. Knowing a percent of every classroom won’t read at grade level or comprehend certain math principles by the end of the year doesn’t make watching a child fall into this number less heartbreaking.
Many teachers use parent tutors to mitigate this. One-on-one teaching can be very effective, but customized attention isn’t possible for a teacher with a room full of kids. That’s where tablets come in. A smart teacher with enough tablets for every student can build differentiation into every subject. Tablets can’t teach, but they can empower a great teacher to be everywhere they need to be, which gives each student what he or she needs every day. Read on to learn more about the importance of tablets in the classroom.
If you stand in front of the classroom delivering a lecture, you can see which students daydream, raise their hand to ask questions, or do not follow along at all. Changing that class dynamic is a challenge. That’s why so many teachers have chosen to flip the classroom. Instead of lecturing to their class, they assign the lecture as homework. Whether the teacher records a lecture or assigns a lecture from the Kahn Academy; a cartoon at BrainPop.com; or a YouTube video from Minute Physics, CrashCourse, SickScience, or draws from another educational channel, the homework is straightforward. And the teacher can usually see which students viewed the lecture and how they did on the post-video quiz offered online. When class time is no longer dedicated to a lecture, students are free to practice in groups, discuss the lecture, or do experiments based on what they learned the night before. Everyone has more fun using class time to act on what students learn by watching lectures at home. And when every student has a tablet, flipping the classroom is as simple as installing the right apps and instructing students to watch specific lectures. The effects of flipping are encouraging: Nine out of 10 teachers say flipping the classroom increases student engagement.
In the next part of this article, we check to put tablets to work
~ Christina Tynan-Wood