To take part in the study we asked that each school have one tablet per student AND one for the teacher (often the teacher gets overlooked!) and we know some of you may have been struggling to find the appropriate equipment for your class.
When you hit the shops, here are a few tips from us about what to look out for when buying new tablets for use in the classroom:-
1. CHARGING. The last thing you want is for the power to die in the middle of your lesson so seriously consider a charging cabinet or charging bank for your classroom so that you, and your equipment can rest well! Keeping tablets in your classroom or nearby means they are accessible whenever you need them and will ensure that they get used regularly.
2. APPS. The free LbQ app for your devices is available for download from the Apple, Google and Windows app stores. The App is currently called ‘Tablet Task’. Some devices come with their own web browser and may be of variable quality so it is also worth installing the Google Chrome browser as an alternative.
3. SCREEN SIZE. We would recommend 10 inches and upwards. Whilst it is possible to use smaller screens they are less easy for students to read and this is one area where short cuts can be counter-productive.
4. MANAGEMENT OF DEVICES AND APPS. In an ideal world you will want to have complete control over the student’s devices so that only you can download apps etc. but this is more of a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ‘deal breaker’. There are good App deployment and management software packages around and Apple and Google are developing new functionality for schools all the time.
5. SUPPLIER. Far from wanting to tell you who to buy your devices from, we would simply suggest considering the longevity of any supplier. Are they going to be around to give you the support you need and are the devices of suitable quality for use in a classroom? You can find devices from £60 to around £290 each this includes iPads, tablets, laptops and Chromebooks.
6. Wi-Fi You will need to connect all the devices to Wi-fi and the Wi-fi needs to be connected to the internet without blocking or filtering out either www.learningclip.co.uk or www.questionsforlearning.com You may need a Wi-fi connection point near to your classroom depending on the infrastructure you already have in your school.
School finances are tight, so we understand it’s important to wisely choose where you spend budget.
Don’t forget that ed-tech is much more than a device, it’s the content you run on it which determines its success in your classroom.