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Tablets in school

ExplosiveTMT

Humour's my middle name.
So my high school started a thing a couple of years ago where every student who starts gets their own tablet. :p Makes me kind of jealous of the young buggers. :p :) In break times, I have to deal with all kinds of sounds coming from the games on kids tablets, lol. :D
It's interesting what kids younger than me are getting nowadays. :)

Anyways, when the teacher asks the class to do research, while I'm looking for a computer to do research on, some kid with a tablet goes "found all the answers miss."

Makes me feel old lol. :p
 
Yeah, the same little technical revolution is happening where I am as well. I've never actually understood why though, I guess education is just becoming more and more dependent on internet. I always like reading from books, I guess many people in the future will not experience that joy :(
 
One day... we will have a blackout and people won't know a thing, lol.

I am guilty of being online a lot though, but the mere fact that we educate people to pretty much use internet as the main (and sometimes only) source just feels a bit risky. But then again, there is this entire theory on the singularity among other things and how people will eventually will be able to pool all knowledge together in a huge collective. The moment that thing is reality it's not even knowing something that's important, it's just being able to find it more efficiently. Using tablets and the internet just seems like the first babysteps in learning how to find the correct data fastest.

Reminds me of that movie AI, where they visit Dr. Know. Said computer knows everything, you just have to be able to connect the dots for the right answer.

The risk with online is that not all sources are cited and not everything is true. Wikipedia can be edited (and I've found inconsistencies a few times) and despite the internet being a pool of knowledge there are a lot of opinions floating around that have little fact in them when it comes to actual information gathering. And what's even worse; the internet seems to be relatively easy to censor, thus dictating what exactly people should see as "common knowledge".
 
The risk with online is that not all sources are cited and not everything is true. Wikipedia can be edited (and I've found inconsistencies a few times) and despite the internet being a pool of knowledge there are a lot of opinions floating around that have little fact in them when it comes to actual information gathering. And what's even worse; the internet seems to be relatively easy to censor, thus dictating what exactly people should see as "common knowledge".

Actually, Wikipedia is on par with other encyclopedias in terms of accuracy. In some cases, it's even more accurate overall, because inaccuracies can be fixed and published immediately (instead of people reading the same incorrect information for decades until they shell out the money for the new version). Some pages even have far more sources (and more completely information) than a print encyclopedia (making it a spectacular springboard for more research). Additionally, it's one of the few easily-found places that has reasonably unbiased information on heavily-debated topics (abortion, incest, etc.), and can be a good place to find aggregate information on current events as they're still happening. Like anything else, you just have to know how and when to use it.

As for censoring, it's actually very difficult to censor the Internet in general. Just look at the lengths both the US and China have had to go through to even hope to do anything effective (fun fact - it's not, really, if you know, or are willing to learn, how to get around their attempts), as well as the information coming out of Iran even when it was on "lockdown" a few years ago. The distributed nature of the Internet means that there's no one source for anything, so censoring anything is, for all intents and purposes, impossible. If people care enough to get the information out there, it will get out. (On a side note, I'm curious as to what you think has been censored and dictated what people should see as common knowledge.)

Additionally, searching in books isn't inherently superior to searching online. For example, thanks to the Internet, I can look up the laws in pretty much any state or country, or I can look up the latest medical research on a given topic. Prior to the Internet, I'd have to find specialized libraries that I may or may not have access to, because I'm not a doctor or lawyer, or a student becoming one. Then, there's the matter of getting the most up to date information if I do have access to the material in general. Does the library I have access to have research that just came out last week, month, or even year? Maybe, maybe not. For newer-released papers, probably not.

The vast majority of information can already be found online, and that is a very good thing, in my opinion, because there is too much information out there for us to retain, even as a collective, let alone as individuals, and because it opens that information up to everyone, and not just a select few.

It's also not a new idea -- the idea of aggregating information has been around since writing was invented, and to an extent, even before that (with storytellers, who were tasked with remembering and recounting the tribe's history), and we've always been dependent on those sources of aggregated information. The internet is just the next step in that. Additionally, using technology, and the internet, in school isn't all that new anymore, either. I was learning to use computers and the Internet to aid in writing papers since the mid-90s. It has evolved since then, certainly, but the core idea is still there. Tablets are now what the desktop computers were to my generation.

As for issuing tablets to students for classroom use, there are a huge number of use-cases for them which can help augment learning in a classroom environment, even making it more interactive and engaging.
 
Yeah, the same little technical revolution is happening where I am as well. I've never actually understood why though, I guess education is just becoming more and more dependent on internet. I always like reading from books, I guess many people in the future will not experience that joy :(
I'm not liking South Korea is planing having a paperless classroom by 2015 based on this article S. Korea leads way for paperless classroom - Washington Times

I still consider it important to have some traditional methods in the curriculum
 
PDFs and eBooks are nice, but I can't find squat in them. Even if the PDF reader comes with a search function. I need to FLIP through a page to find something, it's much faster, and I can stick my fingers all over the place to hold different pages to look at quickly. I don't want to keep a piece of paper with page numbers scribbled all over it for a PDF. I want a solid book that I'm having to do my coursework out of, and then the internet as a supplement or PDF for a permanent copy that's less likely to get damaged. Pads are the only thing I don't want from a Star Trek future.
 
PDFs and eBooks are nice, but I can't find squat in them. Even if the PDF reader comes with a search function. I need to FLIP through a page to find something, it's much faster, and I can stick my fingers all over the place to hold different pages to look at quickly. I don't want to keep a piece of paper with page numbers scribbled all over it for a PDF. I want a solid book that I'm having to do my coursework out of, and then the internet as a supplement or PDF for a permanent copy that's less likely to get damaged. Pads are the only thing I don't want from a Star Trek future.

Often it has to do with the way a PDF is formatted though. Some PDF's are just terrible and don't offer single letters/words and are just a copy/paste job from the paper alternative.

Bookmarks work quite well I guess...

I remember back in Journalism school when we had to hand in assignments as a word document and got it back as a PDF with notes, bookmarks and all kinds of metadata tacked on it. That worked pretty fine, but it also meant teachers would have to be consistent to use to same bloody format... and that was more of a problem there, hah.
 
Often it has to do with the way a PDF is formatted though. Some PDF's are just terrible and don't offer single letters/words and are just a copy/paste job from the paper alternative.

Bookmarks work quite well I guess...

I remember back in Journalism school when we had to hand in assignments as a word document and got it back as a PDF with notes, bookmarks and all kinds of metadata tacked on it. That worked pretty fine, but it also meant teachers would have to be consistent to use to same bloody format... and that was more of a problem there, hah.
I think that frustrated me the most when I took online classes. None of the teachers followed the same layout in the online environment the school provided, and sometimes not even the same in all their classes they taught! Most of my time was spent clicking every link to see where they hid the Submit Assignment button every single time I had something to turn in.
 
I think that frustrated me the most when I took online classes. None of the teachers followed the same layout in the online environment the school provided, and sometimes not even the same in all their classes they taught! Most of my time was spent clicking every link to see where they hid the Submit Assignment button every single time I had something to turn in.

That... would drive me up the wall. I guess when it comes to being "professionaL" I expect a certain type of consistency. Maybe that's the only mask I have as an aspie, lol.
 
PDFs and eBooks are nice, but I can't find squat in them. Even if the PDF reader comes with a search function. I need to FLIP through a page to find something, it's much faster, and I can stick my fingers all over the place to hold different pages to look at quickly. I don't want to keep a piece of paper with page numbers scribbled all over it for a PDF. I want a solid book that I'm having to do my coursework out of, and then the internet as a supplement or PDF for a permanent copy that's less likely to get damaged. Pads are the only thing I don't want from a Star Trek future.

Must decent e readers have bookmark capabilities, as well as note taking features. There are also several resources for compiling information for writing papers. I was a fan of Zotero while in school, but I know Evernote has gotten big, too. The cool thing about Zotero is that it can create bibliography pages for you, too, in addition to keeping notes and page snippets.
 
Still, it bears mentioning that tablets are not of use during a test, and thus becoming dependent on them could prove very damaging to the students.
 
Still, it bears mentioning that tablets are not of use during a test, and thus becoming dependent on them could prove very damaging to the students.

How is that any different than not having the book available during a test? The same logic could be applied to books.
 
How is that any different than not having the book available during a test? The same logic could be applied to books.

I disagree - here's why:

A tablet does not function the way a book functions; rather, it is interactive. Tablets, also being more multi-functional than books, may contain material that actually is sometimes permitted during a test, such as a calculator or notes.

One important consideration is that some subjects require tools that are not always designed the same way. Graphing calculators are good examples of this because there are some subjects for which a graphing calculator, which is arguably the most advanced household calculator, and tending to cost about as much as an iPhone, is necessary. Most independent models of graphing calculators are made in a different format, which is why Professors tend to openly advertise which model she or he recommends (will be using) for her or his given course of study.

One underlying concern is that the development of free academic software may lure cash-strapped college-goers and parents into skipping the $200+ graphing calculator, only to leave them quite out of luck when they discover that use of their electronic is not permitted during a test (because they may not have adequate resources which they could use to acquire and master an expensive material like an alternate graphing calculator)

For the very, very poor even great forward-thinking does not vouchsafe an expensive education against the unpredictable costs of life (and sometimes, death).
 
I disagree - here's why:

A tablet does not function the way a book functions; rather, it is interactive. Tablets, also being more multi-functional than books, may contain material that actually is sometimes permitted during a test, such as a calculator or notes.

One important consideration is that some subjects require tools that are not always designed the same way. Graphing calculators are good examples of this because there are some subjects for which a graphing calculator, which is arguably the most advanced household calculator, and tending to cost about as much as an iPhone, is necessary. Most independent models of graphing calculators are made in a different format, which is why Professors tend to openly advertise which model she or he recommends (will be using) for her or his given course of study.

One underlying concern is that the development of free academic software may lure cash-strapped college-goers and parents into skipping the $200+ graphing calculator, only to leave them quite out of luck when they discover that use of their electronic is not permitted during a test (because they may not have adequate resources which they could use to acquire and master an expensive material like an alternate graphing calculator)

For the very, very poor even great forward-thinking does not vouchsafe an expensive education against the unpredictable costs of life (and sometimes, death).

The original subject was about tablets in high school. In my experience, the high school provides the graphic calculators in the classes that use them, so your concerns are largely moot in that context, because high school and college are two different beasts.

In college (again, in my experience), tests run off the honor system -- most professors will allow electronics under the trust that you're only using the permitted tools (calculators, notes, etc). I've had many classes that were open book entirely (as well as classes that were entirely online).

I contend that your concerns are more a product of being in a transition period between the "old school" way of running classes with printed books and dedicated hardware, and the "new" way of running classes with tablets and other general-function devices. The problems don't arise from either method in themselves, but rather from when the two clash ("old school" professor teaching "new school" students).
 
The original subject was about tablets in high school. In my experience, the high school provides the graphic calculators in the classes that use them, so your concerns are largely moot in that context, because high school and college are two different beasts.

So what? Honestly, you're going too far just to argue with me.

I don't rescind my comments regarding tablets in schools. Students, regardless of whether they are in high school or college, stand to benefit from the availability of information made possible by this form of technology. Dependency on devices such as tablets also presents a risk because, for example, they are frequently restricted during tests, and because the programs they run may be inferior imitations of materials such as graphing calculators.

I also confirm the general air of the original post. I think I would have enjoyed using a tablet in highschool (I graduated just a few months ago) and would have poetically hated the noise of everyone else doing so.
 
Teaching Children how to be Content Consumers...

They need to learn how to Create content first! Personal bias I guess but that's how I see things.
 
Teaching Children how to be Content Consumers...

They need to learn how to Create content first! Personal bias I guess but that's how I see things.

A tablet doesn't necessarily equate to only consumption, and it could be argued that books do the same thing. Hell, I create nearly as much as I consume using my mobile devices.

Additionally, with the right tablet, you can even introduce programming classes using it (mobile development). It's all in the implementation.
 

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