How using tablet computers can help engage learners in primary education

There are three learning modalities that students work through: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Kinesthetic refers to physical movement that is understood by educators to support learning. Therefore the term ‘virtual kinesthetic’ suggests a more intuitive style of technology for pupils and teachers, currently by using tablets in the classroom.

ICT provides innovative new ways to harness these styles to engage students and improve learning outcomes. The electronic tablet can be used to address all three modalities, such as through educational games, music and drawing applications.

As a result, we are seeing an increasing number of educational tablets appear in primary schools, giving children easy access to new applications and providing them with engaging, inspirational material that encourages them to learn. The traditional methods of hands on classroom activity are being complemented by advancements in technology.

When evaluating whether to make the investment in tablets, here are a few points to consider:

Pros:

  • Tablets are user friendly for both children and teachers with a touch sensitive interface
  • Children can learn to count, do simple subtraction and addition problems, listen to stories, learn the alphabet whilst most importantly, making learning fun
  • Tablets are very interactive pieces of technology that enable children to access an increasingly engaging learning experience by using a combination of learning modalities
  • A provider of audio visual tools in the classroom (camera, video and voice recorder) which can be used creatively across a high number of apps
  • Access to e books which allow the child to highlight and look up the meaning of words without having to rely on constant support from the teacher
  • The creative apps on tablets for drawing, video editing, composing music encourage the children to contribute creatively instead of getting into the habit of solely consuming information
  • Tablets are mobile, this encourages pupils to be more active in the classroom, providing memorable learning experiences that engage all three styles of learning

Cons:

  • Schools require the financial support to be able to provide their pupils with tablets, which can prove to be a significant investment
  • They may simply run out of charge during the lesson and therefore disrupt the lesson
  • Multitasking – some tablet ranges are unable to open multiple windows and files cannot be kept open side by side

In the next few years, it is likely that most school budgets will cater for tablet devices, in order to ensure that their pupils are equipped with the latest educational tools. Supporting teachers with training is essential in order to realise the potential of this technology in the classroom. Being able to use tablet devices to enhance visual, auditory, and kinesthetic teaching could prove to have great potential for the development of education.

Electronic tablets in the classroom are being seen increasingly throughout primary schools and so many educators are being faced with the decision as to whether or not to make the investment. With the future of education in mind and how our understanding of learning styles are developing, we are continually looking at how we can improve our learning applications for the benefits of teachers and pupils. Why not check out our new app, Spellanywhere, for a taste of how we have focused on combining visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning modalities to add the fun element into spelling.

 

Author: Pano Savvidis