Classrooms are constantly changing and evolving. This has never been truer than it is today, as learning becomes more technology based and interactive. In addition to tools like laptop computers and smart phones, online game-based learning programs like Socrative and Funbrain are becoming popular in many classrooms.
While there’s no substitute for hands-on classroom learning, technology can greatly enhance learning experiences for students in and out of the classroom. iPads and other tablet PCs are excellent tools for the classroom, with thousands of educational apps and interactive books on every subject imaginable.
Developing a PC tablet program in schools, colleges, and universities provide numerous benefits, which we’ll explore below in more detail.
What is a Tablet PC Program? A tablet PC program incorporates tablets into curricula to enhance student learning. Program administrators must decide how they’ll use the tablets (e.g. in place of textbooks, for interactive gaming, quizzes and tests, music, etc.), which apps to use, and they’ll need to establish rules for tablet use in the classroom. Administrators will also need to decide how to manage their inventory. A typical school or school district may spend millions investing in a tablet PC program, making inventory tracking essential.
Benefits of a Tablet PC Program
- Tablets help students learn more – By helping students conceptualize matters of scale and space (the size of the universe, the size of an atom, or how planets revolve around the sun) and other difficult concepts, tablets have proven to make a difference in learning, according to a recent study. Math teachers often outpace many students’ ability to grasp concepts—students who need more time can greatly benefit from viewing video tutorials on their tablets as many times as needed to understand challenging math concepts.
- Tablets make learning fun– Many educational apps that can be downloaded free or purchased use games or game-like techniques to help kids learn and remember information, from math, to physics, to art history.
- Tablets can save schools money on textbooks– As most anyone who has ever bought a college textbook knows, they are very expensive. This is true at all education levels, including K-12. Tablet PCs can help save schools money by reducing the need for textbooks and/or getting digital textbooks at a discounted rate.
- Touch screens are more interactive– Unlike standard textbooks, the touch screen on tablets allow students a more interactive experience. Moving graphics are visually interesting and help students understand size, scale, and function (e.g. of an atom or a blood cell).
- Tablets can hold huge amounts of data– Tablets hold data weight that kids would otherwise be carrying on their backs—literally—in the form of heavy textbooks. With a tablet a student can access their math, science, history, art, music, and other textbooks at the touch of a button, all from a single device.
- Audio/visual elements help keep students engaged– With a tablet students can hear Beethoven’s 5th Symphony or see moving or still images of a howler monkey and hear the sounds it makes. This makes for richer learning experiences that hold kids’ attention.
- Tablets help schools go paperless– Students can take quizzes and tests and view handouts and homework assignments right on their tablets rather than using paper. Digital technology can help eliminate tons of paper waste every year.
- Tablets help students with different learning styles and abilities– Not all kids learn in the same way. Some are visual learners while others are auditory learners. Tablets allow kids to learn more effectively and retain more information.
- Tablets enable data collection on the go– Kids can take their iPads with them out in field, whether on a nature walk to identify different plants and animals or in the school gymnasium to record their heart and breathing rates during exercise for a physiology lesson.
- Children generally embrace new technology– Kids are eager to use technology and they’re often faster at troubleshooting problems than adults.
- Students can turn in homework assignments via their tablets– Some teachers are using the free file-sharing app Dropbox to post homework assignments. Students can download posted assignments and upload completed assignments when done.
Ensure Your Inventory is Protected A comprehensive inventory tracking system is essential for the success of a tablet PC program. QR code inventory tags are the latest in tracking technology and work by cataloging individual items with scannable, tamper-proof labels.
Each tablet PC is labeled and entered into a database. When equipment is checked out or transferred from one student or classroom to another, the labels are scanned and the information is entered into the system. In many cases, items can be scanned with a smartphone and traced with GPS devices.
With tighter budgets on school campuses in our post-recession era, it’s more important than ever to have a system of tracking school inventory. Sophisticated QR code asset labels allow schools to track and keep equipment where it belongs—in the hands of students and teachers.