A report crossed my in-box the other day via the usually reliable Teachers with Apps blog. It promised to inform me on ‘education trends I need to know about’ and said it would highlight data from around the world. Sounds good, right? Well, I’ll save you reading the whole thing and sun it up thusly: everybody loves tablets. Americans, Indians, Japanese, Swiss—everybody. They love tablets. They want tablets. Tablets are the future of education.
I’m not sure what to make of it. I think there needs to be some maturation of the group management options before that happens. I am still updating our school’s iPads one by one, and have just hit Apple’s device limit, at just 15 units. I can’t imagine how they expect me to deploy individualized content to each kid at this rate.
I think that as we move to more Cloud-based options, the sysadmin pressures might ease. If every student could bring in the device of their choosing, from home or the school’s own library, then log into a website to access all the content they need, it might work. Or if you are working with older children who can be given an instruction (go here and download this) then perhaps as well.
Myself, I have found, working at the elementary level, that there is no shortage of useful stuff. Where the shortage exists is in the time to download it all, get it configured and make it usable, easily, on a large number of devices. Until we have better options for that, tablets will remain one tool of many, not the sole, best choice.