Tablets as Learning Tools: How Students Have Adapted
Posted April 20, 2017 – AWE Learning Staff
The broad availability and use of digital tools – particularly tablets – has recently led to the increased use of mobile technology for young learners. This is seen in the elementary school classroom, as well as other educational related events, such as library programs.
Young learners now often grow up with tablets by their side. According to My ELearning World, tablets are proven to be more intuitive and easy to navigate than desktop and laptop computers for young learners. Manipulating a mouse and typing on a keyboard is not straightforward and requires a skill set more common to older students. Tablets’ interactivity – touch, drop, and point – simplifies the mastery of early literacy through technology.
In the learning environment, tablets offer a variety of differentiated teaching opportunities to match the strengths and weaknesses of each young learner. One of the many features includes multiple methods of learning offered, including reading, listening, and watching. This feature allows educators to cater to each of the students’ learning styles: kinesthetic, visual, and auditory. By delivering content in multiple approaches, young learners gain a sense of empowerment in their own learning. As a result, the educator is able to give autonomy to the student.
Authentic learning and field trips give young learners the opportunity to explore real world experiences and to be hands on with their learning. Field trips can be very costly, however, so tablets are a great alternative to provide learning simulations that mimic real world events and scenarios.
Tablets and other digital devices offer endless opportunities for young learners to develop their early literacy skills in the classroom, library, afterschool programs, and at home. Tablets can be loaded with apps that allow children to engage with their creative side, conduct research, be an author, or interact with other STREAM aligned content. With the ability to download both textbooks and other e-books, children can have a library of content right at their fingertips.
The ease of use of tablets, along with endless volume of STREAM content available, make tablets a valuable resource for young learners. Tablets engage children in their learning journey and provide a variety of strategies for educators.
Computers, tablets, and other digital devices play a large role in many people’s everyday responsibilities. The more interaction young learners have with tablets, the more they will familiarize themselves and become prepared for their future careers. This early exposure helps to build a foundation in digital literacy skills, as well as assist children in becoming better problem solvers and better practical thinkers.