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Technology in the Classroom: Using Digital Tablets

Janelle Cox

There is no mistaking that digital tablets, iPads, and other items of technology in the classroom are a hugely popular trend among children. The technology is so prevalent that schools have begun implementing unbelievable amounts of electronic items to meet the needs of technology in the classroom. Beyond the fact that students love tablets and they keep the students engaged, these items save schools money by combining books, calculators, and word processors, all into one handy device. Not to mention that the easy-to-use interface makes it simple for even the youngest children to manipulate. However, many teachers who get the opportunity to have such technology in the classroom are unsure of how to utilize it. Here we will take a brief look at a few ways teachers can use digital tablets and iPads in their classroom.

Technology in the Classroom: Virtual Field Trips

Long gone are the days where students were unable to experience visiting another state or country. Technology makes it so that students can afford to go virtually anywhere that they want! Teachers can utilize the Skype app and take students to Yellowstone National Park, or connect students with someone from another country to learn about their customs and give them a tour of their village.

Take Notes

The Notability app is a great app in which students can take handwritten notes, play back their notes with the audio feature, and import slides or anything they want. Evernote is another note-taking app that allows you to take and keep notes and clippings and access them from anywhere. 

Assist Special Needs Students

There are numerous ways that a digital tablet can assist students with special needs. There are apps that can assist students with speaking or who have trouble understanding social situations. There are also apps to help students communicate emotions or help with conditions like Dyslexia.

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Assignments

Digital tablets are great for posting and turning in assignments. Apps such as Dropbox allow students to learn about their homework assignments, as well as turn them in. The teacher can grade the assignment and return it to the Dropbox in a matter of minutes.

Presentations

iPads and tablets can improve student presentations. Students can create engaging presentations though apps like Snapguide or ScreenChomp. These apps are great for students to create simple, how-to presentations. They allow students to include text, video, pictures, you name it.

Graphic Organizers

You will never look at graphic organizers the same again. Digital graphic organizers are a fun way to get kids brainstorming. Apps such as iBrainstorm and Skitch have redefined the way students brainstorm ideas. Students can create mind maps which is ideal for projects or even any writing piece. Students can think it, then share it with just the tap of their finger.

Navigate the World

Social studies has never been so much fun. With a digital tablet, students can navigate through the world with Google Earth or Wikimapia. They can learn about different countries, look at the solar system, and even map out basic traveling routes.

Keep Records

Technology has made it easy on teachers so they can have their grade book, attendance chart, and student behavior chart all in one simple place. Teacherkit is an app that you can enter your seating chart, take attendance, use as a gradebook, and monitor students’ behavior.

Lesson Planning

With the Common Core State Standards being implemented across the globe, teachers may find it much easier with an app. The Common Core Standards app has the standards organized by grade level, which makes it very easy to search. There are also many other apps that help teachers with their lesson planning, such as Planboard, which helps teachers find resources, share lessons, and collaborate with other teachers.

Communicate Better

Digital tablets allow students and teachers to communicate better. Apps like Edmodo, which is virtually a social media platform, facilitate communication between teachers and students where they can hold discussions, post and turn in assignments, and have class discussions and debates. It also has grading and lesson planning features as well.

As schools start implementing digital tablets more readily, educators are finding that there’s basically an app for just about anything. The excitement from students when they hear that they are going to learn on a tablet can fill a football stadium. The capabilities of tablets are endless, and this easy-to-use technology is here to stay.

Do you have a digital tablet or iPad in your classroom? How do you use it in your class? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. We would love to hear your ideas.

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a master's of science in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the elementary education expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or visit her website at Empoweringk6educators