What is Tablet Computing?

In the past three years, advances in tablets have captured the imagination of educators around the world. This category is led by the incredible success of the iPad, which at the time of publication had sold more than 85 million units and is predicted by GigaOM to sell over 377 million units by 2016. Other similar devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Kindle Fire, the Nook, Sony's Tablet S, and the Microsoft Surface have also entered this rapidly growing market. In the process, the tablet (a device that does not require a mouse or keyboard) has come to be viewed as a new technology in its own right, one that blends features of laptops, smartphones, and earlier tablet computers with always-connected Internet and thousands of apps with which to personalize the experience. As these new devices have become more used and understood, it has become even clearer that they are independent and distinct from other mobile devices such as smartphones, e-readers, or tablet PCs. With significantly larger screens and richer gesture-based interfaces than their smartphone predecessors — and a growing and ever more competitive market — they are ideal tools for sharing content, videos, images, and presentations because they are easy for anyone to use, visually compelling, and highly portable. Tablets have gained traction in education because users can seamlessly load sets of apps and content of their choosing, making the tablet itself a portable personalized learning environment.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Tablets are gradually replacing laptops and standalone PCs as the main digital artefact in schools and kindergartens. - oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen Nov 19, 2014 - stefan stefan Dec 4, 2014
  • I believe that tablets have served the (very important) purpose of digitalizing the classroom. But i do not believe they are the right answer. Tablets are consumer devices, which basically means they lack any kind of producing opportunities [via Kirsten Panton]
  • For pupils with special needs we see that tablets and certain apps give wonderful learning possibilities. The new Siri in ios8 where you can read text and automativcally have it translated, gives hope for many pupils with illiteracy.- sven.o.brekke sven.o.brekke Nov 25, 2014- morten.dahl morten.dahl Dec 7, 2014
  • Tablets are well suited for collaborative learning [[user:Ingunn.Bremnes.Stubdal|1417361570]* Digital tablets are suitable for all kinds of education with younger children that are not yet literate in the more traditional sense, but instead very engaged in images, colours, sounds, anlimations, symbols and so on. - susanne.kjallander susanne.kjallander Dec 7, 2014
  • Tablets give flexibility within collaborative learning, at the same time it gives students a strong indvidual tool that is more flexible to the classroom for students that need more help. - vibeke.klovstad vibeke.klovstad Dec 7, 2014

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Tablets need a better interface for text input, or else they will only serve as complimentary devices. - morten.dahl morten.dahl Dec 7, 2014
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • Digital tablets are, by preschool teachers, appreciated as an excellent tool for pedagogical documentation, something that is a core issue in the national curriculum for Swedish preschools. Since a digital tablet affords both documenting children by photos and video film that can be printed or posted at blogs or sent in emails, the activity of documentation can actually be made together with the children. - susanne.kjallander susanne.kjallander Dec 7, 2014
  • The tablet becomes what preschool children wants it to be at present moment, according to their interest – it can become a flash light in their little house, a cash register in their play food store, a clock to time a race in the slides in the playground, an encyclopedia at the excursion or a music resource in a “reach for the stars” show. - susanne.kjallander susanne.kjallander Dec 7, 2014
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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