With tablet leasing for schools becoming more popular, combined with the rise in innovative new educational technology (EdTech), students now have a wealth of tools and apps at their fingertips. Here is a selection of ideas for using tablets in the classroom in order to maximise learning and student engagement.
360 degree videos – think of this as basic virtual reality, working with a headset, browser or mobile device. It’s interactive, fun and enables students to explore via some amazing content. The Discovery YouTube channel is a great starting place.
Photography – include camera apps to make trips or experiments far more engaging. Let students get creative using apps such as Pic Collage or PicLab.
Music – with so many apps around for making music, tablets lend themselves well to this by having the larger screen. Compose from scratch or modify existing tunes. You can even locate specific instruments, providing would-be musicians with the opportunity to learn how to play.
Interactive notes – apps such as Apple Notes allow students’ notes to incorporate images, maps, web links and so much more. Students can put together research on a vast range of topics or even school trips, combining multi-media with text.
Use games to do maths – how about using Angry Birds or something similar, enabling students to use maths to score as well as getting into basic physics by guessing the result of certain strikes?
Augmented reality – the Aurasma apps are free and add digital graphics to the real world. Very easy to use via Aurasma and a tablet’s integral camera and great for interactive use.
Meet Siri and Google Now – tablets have these included so get the students talking to these intelligent digital assistants, looking up things on the web, taking part in quizzes and pitching their wits against these fun AI apps.
Tour the world – use the Apple Maps app or Google Earth to virtually visit major cities, looking at street views and seeing the wonders of the world.
Make story time virtual – for younger children, try some of the audiobooks. There are a vast range to choose from including Read Me Stories, Farfaria Story Time Best Book Reader and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore. Beware of purchasing too many titles though as costs can quickly add up.
Worldwide radio – tuning into foreign radio channels can be a great boon if children are studying foreign languages. Tunein Radio is a great app with literally thousands of stations playing music or talk shows.
Track learning progress – check out an app called Seesaw which enables students to keep a record of learning; also great for parents if they want to get involved. It will deal with photos, text, videos, drawings and so much more, even encompassing material produced using other apps. Teachers simply log in to view work.
These are just a few of the many benefits of having tablets in the classroom. Use them to inspire students, get them more involved and generally harness the power of the internet to make learning fun and interactive.