In a very short span of time, tablets have carved a niche for themselves in the modern education space. digitalLEARNING interacted with a host of schools and higher education leaders to gain insight into the real potential of tablets in education space
Adilakshmi Chintalapati, Principal, Oakridge International School
As Head of one of the first schools in Andhra Pradesh to introduce Technology in Teaching and bring in the concept of a Smart school, I believe that tablets have helped to bring a paradigm shift in the Teaching and Learning process. The 21st century learners need to be a critical and creative thinker who can work collaboratively towards designing and solving problems. Easy access to content and information has reduced the relevance of memorising facts and figures. Students today need to connect their learning to real world situations and apply what they learn. From desktop PC to laptop and now Tablets, the medium is only getting better. In a classroom where every child and the teacher have a Tablet that is connected to the WiFi, learning becomes both independent and collaborative. Teachers can both differentiate as well as teach to the group. It supports all kinds of learners and frees up a lot of space besides reducing paper. With all the content of the textbooks and more available on the Tablet, school bags will be lighter and children happier. As students are introduced to technological tools in classrooms and beyond, the first and most important quality that we need to imbibe is integrity and academic honesty. There is always the temptation to stray away from the task on hand and get lost in the maze of the web. Most equipments designed for usage in schools have features that restrict browsing to only what is relevant for learning. School firewalls also take care of controlling visits to unwanted sites. However the quality of internal discipline needs to be built. At Oakridge International School, we have multimedia enabled classrooms with smart boards and internet connectivity. We are currently exploring the option of introducing tablets in our classrooms. We did a pilot programme during the summer camp this year and were amazed to see how well children who are only three or four years old take to these devices.