Apple has a ‘leg-up’ on everyone when it comes to deploying tablets in K12 schools, but Android tablets are gaining popularity in higher education, according to NEC Display Solutions of America.
NEC’s Richard McPherson, senior product manager of projectors, said that ‘it is Apple’ when it comes to the market for tablets in K-12 education, but added that Android is having some traction in higher-education, due to its open source infrastructure.
NEC said that K-12 schools use tablets for individual and team learning, virtual anatomy classes, science and engineering programmes, language immersion, maths skills and for reading e-textbooks.
Higher education schools are using tablets for the aforementioned tasks, as well as for science labs, distance learning, athletic programmes and presentations.
“The app world, tied with the tablet, is going to change the way we teach in the classroom”, said McPherson.
Interestingly, McPherson even went on to question for the need for interactive whiteboards (IWB) in the classroom, with the introduction of the tablet.
“An interactive whiteboard is tied to a classroom and has is a limitation in size. Students need to reach different parts of the screen, and this is not always possible with an IWB”, said McPherson.
“However, with a tablet, in writing on the tablet and presenting on the screen, that screen size can be infinite. Tablets are going to take over as the interactive, annotative tool in the classroom”.
Ventura, director of sales for vertical solutions at NEC, listed some schools using tablets.
He said that all students at the University of MN School of Education are using iPads for training and lesson plans, and added that while most K12 schools are using iPads, two schools in the mid-west of America are even deploying tablets to Kindergarten pupils.
Project REAL in the Minnesota school district distributed 1,450 iPad 2s to students, while Ventura gave an example of Reed College moving to an iPad pilot scheme, having unsuccessfully trialled the Kindle DX e-Book Readers for a small time. These e-Readers were deemed to be limited in terms of interactivity in the classroom.