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March 24, 2011

My Dog ate my Tablet

Filed under: AV,iPad — admin @ 7:58 am

Tablets like the new iPad 2 and Xoom with their ergonomic, lightweight, portable, yet big and powerful enough design, are a mainstay on the personal technology front. Individual tablet users blend entertainment with productivity, but as the technology develops and competition drives prices down, the business and industrial applications are limitless.

dog tablet My Dog ate my Tablet

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One ripe vertical for tablet technology is education. Text books are becoming an expensive and inefficient way to transfer knowledge in a school setting. Books are lost, damaged and outdating occurs if they are not replaced regularly, and there’s some inconvenience with lugging a backpack full of them (even though most of us have done it) to and from class every day. Of course, books will always have a place among the Kindles and iPads of the world, but considering all the possibilities, educators could certainly benefit from the immediate use of tablet technology.

Tablets would have to be industrial grade with access to an approved set of programs, but even replacing textbooks with digital files that students could access from a smartphone, PC, tablet, laptop or IP-enabled TV seems like a far more efficient solution. Budgets, loyalties and lack of understanding stand in the way for the immediate future, but even if the textbook lives on, there is strong evidence to support an increasing use of tablets for teaching.

Just recently, EmergingTech.com published a post, 10 Excellent iPad Apps for Teachers that is pretty self-explanatory. Utilizing several of the options with a number of iPad2 accessories and a larger monitor or projector, teachers would be able to present to an entire class with engaging high resolution graphics and audio/video support. IOGEAR can also play a role in the classroom with the new Wireless Multi-link Bluetooth Keyboard (GKM611B) which can serve as a convenient input device; allowing teachers to navigate the iPad interface and manage apps via touchpad or keystroke.

With budget issues, lack of understanding and a plenty of other hurdles in the way, widespread adoption of iPads or tablets in schools is not coming anytime soon. But, as teachers integrate more technology into the classroom, tablets will likely play an increasing role in the management and sharing of educational material.

Do you think iPads or tablets could ever replace text books? What are the biggest obstacles standing in the way? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.

 My Dog ate my Tablet admin (250 Posts)

IOGEAR is a leading connectivity manufacturer that provides complete KVM, Connectivity, Networking, Digital Audio/Video, Mobility, and Desktop solutions.

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  • http://twitter.com/Franklinspecs Jeremy Brown

    As a veteran teacher in northern NH I have been given the opportunity tackle this issue firsthand. The district is constructing a new middle school and with it comes a significant tech. upgrade in hardware and infrastructure. One of the final questions that remains is whether to outfit the rooms with a cart of PC netbooks or Ipads. As a major player in the design of the tech package, I have researched the applications of these devices in the classroom, including their potential takeover of the textbook market. Several hurdles stand in the way of these technologies becoming mainstream in the classroom, fully taking the place of the paper textbook. First is the matter of training. Take a staff of hundreds, take away their textbooks and roll in a cart of Ipads and you will get mixed results. Anything new must be accompanied by hours of professional development to not only establish educator aptitude but guarantee educational effectiveness. Secondly, is the matter of cost. A textbook is short term cheap, long term expensive, Ipads and the like are just the opposite. Textbooks have a clear role in the classroom and their purchase is easily justified. A stronger case will have to be made for these devices given their cost and the “…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…” attitudes that often prevail. Throw in a budget that is decided by the general public, who sees their kids endlessly attached to these devices and they may see it as: “now my kid can text from their textbook…” Personally, I favor the switch. Give me a textbook that is part Ipad, part Toughbook, and part tablet. Load it with a highly efficient OS and apps that have been extensively tested. Give me the training and infrastructure I need to manage, update, and implement my device-centered curriculum and I will gladly welcome the replacement. Until that time comes, I will continue to campaign for these device in hopes of expediting their takeover of the chiropractic tragedy that is the textbook laden backpack.

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