Empowering Education

Hybrids for Education and Classroom Use

We must hold a major amount of weight for the future of our educational system. While many governments around the world spend billions every year to improve all aspects of their educational systems. The tablet for education are becoming more and more popular, the idea of replacing print textbooks with tablets with digital textbooks is becoming more prevalent. In fact the transition from textbooks to tablets is already taking place!

Hybrids stand for:
– Portability in comparison with laptops ensuring any field classes
– Pen-based input – Keyboard when input data method necessitates
– Low power consumption ensuring longtime field portability
– Hi-Screen resolution and format
These simple technical capabilities s made it possible to present teaching material in new ways in today’s classrooms. An instructor current procedure by using tablets is like this:
– Teach the first lecture of the day, creating each slide in real time: start with blank slides. The pen has made it easy to “draw” on the blank PowerPoint slides, just as how you had always done with the old method of overhead tech:
– Drawing in color in real-time. Few new technology skills are needed when switching from overheads to the Tablet.
– Paging back and forth. It’s easy to revisit earlier material (unlike a blackboard that may have been erased, or trying to find an earlier overhead slide in a dimly-lit room)
– Save the slides on the Tablet PC and use the wireless network to move the slides onto desktop PC for a possible Print to be used in the second lecture as needed.
– Posting them on the net will be also a maximum benefit while the lecture is still fresh in the student’s mind.
– Making the transition to the Tablet PC is reasonably easy. “Ink” versions of popular applications are available, making it possible to gain the benefits of the Tablet PC without lengthy training or adaptation.
– The Tablet can be used in either horizontal (“landscape”) or vertical (“portrait”) modes. This is convenient for displaying material that may have originally been in portrait format (e.g., most books are in portrait format).
– Tablet PCs tend to be ultra-light and have long battery life. This is important if an instructor may be carrying the computer long distances or may be away from electrical outlets for long periods of time. Classes which use field work may especially benefit from this.
– Convertible models (2-in-1) ensure comfortable teaching condition for both the instructor and students when software is not Tablet-aware.
– Hi resolution with almost 180 degree angle of view ensures education under any lighting conditions. This is a drawback with many notebook computers.
– The accuracy of the Tablet PC’s stylus, while not perfect, is much better than in previous stylus input computing devices in the fine arts or architecture. Current displays hi-resolution is enough to satisfy an artist
– Use it as a “pass-around” device for active learning.
– It is used for remote data collection for later classroom presentation. This is especially valuable for courses that are based on data from fieldwork. Current up to 16 MP rear camera could produce a powerful data collection and annotation tool for disciplines such as architecture or the field-based biological sciences.
– Similarly, a USB microphone could be attached for collecting audio data. Recording directly to the Tablet’s hard drive would eliminate a time-consuming data transfer step
– Connect the Tablet to a video projector when a teacher needs to give a presentation to a large group.
– Use of Virtual Networking will make the Tablet even more portable, allowing the instructor to roam the classroom (or even a remote location) at will, while still presenting the material to the students in real time.

In conclusion

By looking at all that tablets offer in the context of educational methodology and other recent trends in education, it’s clear that tablets are ready for the classroom. How close are we today to tablets displacing computers? Closer than you might think, it is only one step away and it only requires a robust ITP (Information Technology Planning). After all, I wrote this article on my hybrid during a classroom recess!!!