Home About Us Media Kit Subscriptions Links Forum

Optimum Use of Tablets in Schools

By Marc Fanaroff

At High Point School we serve students with special educational needs in grade 8-12. However, the following advice, based on the lessons we have learned from our tablet solution roll out, should apply to all schools.

The first step is to know from an instructional standpoint what your objectives for the investment are, and how you envisage using the resource. This could have implications for the required functionality of the hardware device. While many tablets are designed for consumer use rather than classroom use, in general, a tablet is a tablet. A vital consideration is the inclusive tools, including a classroom management system that will enable you to embed the technology in your learning environment.

The next step is to consider the learning content. Will you be able to access appropriate, high quality learning resources for your tablets? We found that mass marketed devices offered limited 'real' learning resources, focusing more on games. Unless you can integrate your existing web based curriculum the success of the hardware will be limited. The LearnPad allows the teacher to control access to appropriate websites, which is vital from an eSafety perspective.

We invested in a protective cover for our tablets and as a result, despite our 'spirited' students, we haven't experienced any damage to date.

And finally, once you have your devices, don't roll them out all at once. The teachers spent the first few days using the devices, looking at all the free content on the LearnPad website and downloading what was right for our specific needs. We then used them with just one trial class group, one activity, and one day at a time. We learned what worked with the students and in turn managed any problems that arose on a much smaller scale. Once you know which problems will occur with one class you can ensure a smoother roll out for the next.#

Marc Fanaroff is the executive director at High Point School of Bergen County, Lodi, NJ, which has recently implemented the LearnPad tablet solutions across the school.

Leave a comment

Recent Entries

Performing Arts Museum Salutes Robbins And City Center
By Jan Aaron "My city lies between two rivers -- on a small island. My city is tall and jagged…
Taking Teachers College's Impact to Scale
By President Thomas Bailey, Teachers College Since being named Teachers College's president this past spring, I've been repeatedly asked two…
Soft Skills Get the Grad's Foot in the Door
By Robert Atkins, Chief Executive Officer, Gray Associates, Inc. A labor shortage in science and technology-based fields has led U.S.…
Education Update, Inc. All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of the publisher. © 2019.