This article was first published in the Spring 2014 issue of Touch
What challenges do schools implementing new devices face?
Besides additional costs and initial infrastructure developments, one of the main challenges of introducing devices to the classroom is that it has the potential to disrupt lessons and remove the teacher’s control. For example, teachers are worried that if students have personal tablets, they will use it to surf social media sites, rather than focusing on the lesson. At Dell, we’re looking at ways to help the teachers give students the freedom to use these devices but ensure that they are able to regain their attention when it is necessary to share information with the rest of the class.
How do tablets and other devices benefit pupils and teachers?
Students are exposed to technology outside of school and when they come to school, they expect to be able to use similar technology. Using tablets also creates more inclusive lessons because teachers can develop individualised tasks to suit different learning abilities, removing barriers caused by fear and embarrassment. Students can work at their own pace, return to parts of a subject they don’t understand, interact with the teacher and other pupils without needing to speak aloud, and even record lessons so they can access them later. In future, we expect that tablets will help to create a new classroom framework, which flips the traditional teaching model so that students teach themselves the basics of a subject at home and then do ‘homework’ in the lesson with the support of the teacher and classmates.
What makes Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 suitable for use in educational environments?
Windows 8 is a highly flexible operating system, which spans across different technologies very well. Students can create a Microsoft Office document on their tablet and when they share it with others or access it on their phone or on a desktop, it will look exactly the same. Basically, it offers an end-to-end infrastructure that’s secure and familiar for users and consistency is key in education.
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