Should grade-school kids use mobile devices in the classroom? That has been a longstanding question with no definitive answer yet. It’s not a black-and-white issue, not when both sides have their own solid arguments for their case.
It’s up to the school to decide whether the positives outweigh the negatives. The important thing is that they carefully go over all considerations:
Kids are familiar with mobile devices
Kids today are digital natives. They haven’t known a world without tablets. Many of them learned how to navigate around mobile devices the same time they learned how to walk. Thus, the use of these devices at school won’t be a foreign concept to them. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. They’re already familiar with such gadgets, so they’ll feel comfortable using them right away.
Kids will be ahead of their peers
Though most kids grow up exposed to mobile devices, not many know how to use it for educational purposes. But kids who go to schools that implement 1:1 technology will have that knowledge. They’ll be taught that tablets are powerful tools for learning and collaborating. At a young age, they’ll see how to use this tech to their advantage. The same can’t be said for students who go to schools that don’t implement 1:1 technology. By the time they reach high school, their peers will already be adept while they get left behind.
Kids will be able to catch up on their lessons
In a traditional classroom setting, some kids easily grasp the lesson. On the other hand, others need more time to understand it. When schools use 1:1 technology, the kids who have trouble can catch up at home. They can go over videos, and recreate the classroom experience. That’s more engaging than reading a book and trying to understand what it says.
Kids will become creators, not just learners
In the old days before the internet, only teachers could see their students’ work. But now, students can publish their work online and create a digital portfolio at a young age. They can even make their own sites, making it easy to track their progress through the years. They can also share with classmates and other students around the world. A wide audience will help them gain new perspective beyond their teachers’.
Kids will be too dependent on mobile devices
Some people fear that young students will neglect physical activities after becoming too dependent on their gadgets. This is a reasonable concern, but it can be addressed by controlled usage. This can be easily done by teachers by setting the pace in the classroom. Also, let’s not forget that practical learning and 1:1 technology can mix. The latter doesn’t have to replace the former.
Kids will have to be trained on the devices issued by their school
In a 1:1 technology setup, schools provide the tablets kids should use. Everyone gets the same device for the sake of uniformity. But what if a child who knows how to use only Android is issued an iPad? Or vice versa? This can prove to be challenging for the child. However, kids are digital natives so learning how to use a platform is easy for them. A short training session will address this concern.
The long-term benefits of 1:1 technology easily outweigh the solvable problems that come with it. Therefore, schools that want their students to gain a competitive edge should consider going for 1:1 technology. The implementation may not be smooth-sailing at first. However, addressing the challenges is worth the advantages the kids will enjoy.
Positive 1to1 provides an implementation and management strategy and platform to help schools make the leap to 1:1 well. Learn more by contacting us!