Managing Tablet Usage Outside of the Classroom

It’s an ever familiar story in 2018.  A child comes home from their day at school and casually asks their parent, “Can I go on my iPad now?”.

For many adults growing up this would have been far from an option.  Instead, playing in gravel or dirt in your back garden, or using the time to play with physical toys or draw a picture, or craft.  But nowadays, in the midst of a digital era, with social media and ‘all things computerised’ on the rise, this is pretty much an everyday occurrence.

Many parents are somewhat opposed to allowing their child so much “free” time on their tablets or computers.  They believe that they are missing out on the real world, or worry that they are becoming more aggressive, or more dependent on them.  You also hear whispers in the press of how too much screen time can be bad for your health.  So, with this in mind, parents can be faced with quite a dilemma.  There are lots of articles on the pro’s and con’s of tablet usage, but parents themselves are ultimately held responsible for how they deal with this issue.  Risk potentially alienating their child from society in general by not allowing them time on their devices, or letting them explore these devices – but at what cost?  Either way it can be a struggle for parents to know just what the right answer is, and explain this to their youngster, who is surrounded by other children whose parents may feel differently.

As educational institutes explore the possibilities of using digital technology and tablets in school and colleges, this opens up more questions for parents.  But also more opportunities for learning.  There are many arguments, articles and research on how best to manage tablet use within schools.  How do teachers use them to their best advantage? How do schools deal with maintaining and keeping the devices safe?  How do they ensure distribution of devices? 

There are other questions too.  Should we be encouraging use of tablets and Chromebooks inside of schools to enable parents to be confident that if they do not allow or restrict digital time outside of school hours, their children will still have access to the same resources and develop the same understanding and skills that any other child will develop?

Some experts predict many existing job roles will be automated within the next 30 years, and the robots are already taking over. Others believe humans will find themselves working side by side with robots, rather than being replaced by them.  Whichever way you look at it, the predications are that automation could displace 22.7 million jobs by 2025*. This equates to a job loss of 16% between 2015 and 2025.  (See article here for more information: http://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/Robots-will-transform-not-replace-human-work).

This means the children of today will have to be training for different job roles than existed in the past.  This shift in job specifics means our children must be equipped to deal with this change and have the skills necessary to embrace it or fall behind.

At LocknCharge we have many education establishments using our storage and charging carts.  And it appears from the many schools we speak to one of the main challenges with digital devices is management. 

Many of these establishments, with our help, have gone on to successfully deliver charging stations which enable them to get the best from their digital devices in class, whilst not impacting negatively on other areas of schooling.  There is no doubt that a mix of both traditional learning and digital learning is now becoming commonplace throughout the education industry.  And whether we are a fan or not, it is a topic that does not seem to be going away.

For more information about LocknCharge mobile device security and storage stations, click here.

 

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The Use of Tablets in Group or Individual Settings in Schools

Many schools are adopting tablet and digital device schemes which allow pupils to utilise technology in the classroom.  This is either by way of iPads, Chromebooks, PC’s, laptops, or other similar devices.  But how best are these devices used in the classroom amongst students?

In their study, “A critical review of the evidence for learning outcomes” in 2015, Hasler, Major, & Hennessy, talk about tablet usage in schools.

They explore the ways in which tablets can be deployed in classrooms, and the interaction between pedagogy and technology. 

They found that most classroom situations called for one of the following in terms of tablet deployment and usage amongst pupils:

  1. one-to-one without collaboration
  2. one-to-one with collaboration
  3. many-to-one with collaboration
  4. tablet use on an individual basis

An analysis of student performance following the use of tablets showed that both “one-to-one” and “many-to-one” settings can improve learning outcomes.* 

In a “one-to-one” setting, it was found that because of no competition for tablets among students in this type of setting, the studies reviewed led to consistently high group participation, improved communication and interaction. In the “many-to-one” groups, students also generated superior artefacts, attributed to the fact that all the notes were well discussed among the group members. 

There are difficulties faced by education establishments when implementing a tablet management scheme in schools, and the two classroom deployment options, above, create different challenges.

A “one-to-one” deployment relies on the school being able to either provide individual tablets for each child in a class, or relies on parents to provide and supply a tablet for their child’s learning.  Budgets in schools are tight at the best of times, so there could be financial restraints, but to ask parents to have to bear the financial burden may also not be possible.  There is also the issue of safety and keeping the tablets secure, especially if they have been purchased and brought into school by a pupil.

A “many-to-one” deployment relies on the successful collaboration of the children in suitable groups and the ability to “share” their learning equally and fairly.  It also depends on taking responsibility for the tablets as a group, as well as individually.

This research however is encouragingly a great improvement on what has been thought in the past.  Past research has suggested that tablets may be best suited for individual rather than collaborative use.  This was seen as being partly due to technical considerations such as synchronising content and recharging batteries.** 

At LocknCharge we have helped to overcome many of these technical considerations by providing solutions to our schools in the way of our device storage carts.  Able to hold up to 40 tablets, we have a range of tablet charging stations for every need, whether it be automatically syncing tablets, or providing easy ways to deploy or distribute tablets with safety in mind through our baskets. 

We also recognise the importance of safety and security – The Joey Cart, for example, is made with high-quality steel and includes a padlock to assure that devices are secured when not in use. An optional anchor kit locks down the whole Cart for additional security.

And every cart is designed to multiply charge the tablets so they are always ready for use.

If these solutions have played a part in successfully allowing children to learn effectively, giving the best outcome for each child individually, dependent on how they best use technology then that to us is a success!

For more information on our products see our website at www.lockncharge.com.

 

*(Lin et al., 2012)

**(Sheppard, 2011).  

 

References from:

Tablet use in schools | Hasler, B., Major, L. & Hennessy, S.  | . June 2015
Accepted for publication in: Journal of Computer Assisted Learning

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LocknCharge Customer Voices: Teacher’s Apprehension of Mobile Device Deployment Disappears with the Help of the Putnam 16.

See why Partick Terry loves the charging status display of the Putnam 16 Charging Station. He can rest easy knowing that all of his classroom iPads are properly plugged in at the end of the day so he can be confident that they’ll be charged up, ready to go every morning. Having the burden of iPad charging lifted from his plate has allowed him to do what he is here to do – teach the students at Kenneth Cooper Middle School in Oklahoma City, OK.

 

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