The use of gadgets and devices in classrooms is now as prevalent as in just about any other setting or location. However, as diverse as the number and types of gadgets are for classrooms and educational institutions, we can probably enumerate only a very select few that stand out with their potential. Take a look at these three examples:
This one probably needs no introduction, and those who are familiar with Chromebooks already know why they are often recommended in classrooms. Still, we’ll enumerate some of the general reasons.
First and foremost, it is a laptop, a medium of data that we are already largely accustomed to using whenever access to information is required. Second, Chromebooks are essentially entry-level PCs in terms of price value, which means that, comparatively, the cost of implementing such devices in classrooms is not too steep compared to other options. Third, it uses a specialized system that is optimized for classrooms, namely Google for Education. Lastly, even without Google for Education, the relative ease of setting up a data exchange system using most readily available Google services (e.g. Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, etc.) still makes it possible to maintain optimal use of Chromebooks in an educational setting.
Modern capacitive tablets have been touted as the next generation textbooks and pen and paper, their reputation having been boosted by the e-readers and smartphones introduced a few years before them. Although it is still not as intuitive to write on a tablet as on an actual notebook, tablets do have some very charming conveniences. Data storage and access to the internet are one thing. Another is the intuitiveness of using something that actively changes its interface. In addition, vast amounts of information that from stacks of books can now fit inside a thin and relatively light tablet, making studies and reviews far easier to do.
Now, it is true that there are still quite a few practicality issues when it comes to the implementation of tablets in classrooms. However, the simple fact that tablets are the 21st-century exercise books and paper make them a somewhat worthy investment to make. In lower-grade classrooms, tablets can function as a bridging interactive tool, allowing students to use a variety of simple apps to learn actively.
Response pads are remote-control-like devices used by students, which provide buttons and options to respond to questions or do activities. How interactive response pads are is subjective; they might be highly efficient in one setting and redundant in another. The more important point, however, is the way response pads send out information in the form of activity records.
Think about this: Instead of simply gauging students’ activities in the classroom, educators can build hard statistical data of what happens in the classroom. How many usually participate in lectures? What kinds of questions did they answer? How was the set of questions usually answered? What type of responses do the students give when using the device? All of this data is automatically tracked, sent, and recorded by these devices for teachers to analyze afterwards. In classrooms, there will always be room for improvement, and devices such as response pads aid greatly in optimizing what teachers can do.