Take two tablets and call me in the morning. It works for headaches and other physical maladies, and it seems to be the latest prescription for our educational ones as well. Such logic explains Apple’s recent announcement that it sold one million iPads to high schools and colleges last quarter—double the number of MacBook laptops sold, and double the number of iPads sold during the same period last year.
Tablets are the new toys in the classroom—and they’re not just for big kids. School officials are raving about them at Buford Middle School in Charlottesville, VA, claiming they’ve helped boost engagement and foster greater collaboration (and arguably, understanding) among students working in “flipped” classroom environments. And at the elementary level, tablets may soon be replacing real toys, if the city of Pittsburgh’s schools are any indication.
Some teachers and districts resist such developments (and there are valid reasons to do so), but holdouts may soon find themselves at a disadvantage. A glimpse of the new exams for the Common Core State Standards indicates a profusion of performance tasks, including one sample that requires evaluation of articles and videos followed by research and presentation of a student’s own speech, complete with audio and visual components. Tablets in the classroom can help students familiarize themselves with these kinds of technological capabilities.
Those looking to use tablets to study on their own, meanwhile, have a host of resources available to them. You can find a list of Apps for Gifted Kids here—and don’t forget to check out our Math Dictionary for Kids app, available at a discounted price for a limited time only.