Tablets are the educational supplements for our generations to come.
GUEST COLUMN | by Danish Ahmed and Mayeen Farooqui
Technology is changing the way humans learn – providing students, parents and educators with rich opportunities for connection and collaboration. It’s breaking down social norms, requiring us to reconstruct our roles as educators and students. According to a recent report by the non-profit group, Project Tomorrow, titled, “The New Digital Learning Playbook”, K-12 student access to mobile devices has dramatically increased in the last three years. Many students bring these devices to school, with approximately 19% more schools implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives. Most students in grades K-12 are using smartphones and laptops
If we want our students to learn the way they need to, not the way we want them to, then we must evolve and transform.
for schoolwork, and tablet use is expected to increase with school-issued mobile device programs being implemented more than ever. In fact, according to tech education research site, T.H.E. Journal, 92 percent of students believe tablets will change the way they learn in the future.
Perhaps one of the reasons for this is increased access to the Internet at home. In some cases school districts, such as Los Angeles Unified, Riverside Unified, and San Jose Unified provide students with Internet access. Parents and students agree that learning in a personalized manner is what they like best about technology. A noticeable trend today is the contained, often outdated, computer labs are gradually being repurposed to include BYOD. To further add incentive, school districts can save money since students bring, or are supplied with different devices. Technology assists educators to differentiate instruction and they should be very excited to explore these new avenues.
The pivot to digital education has, surprisingly, been met with resistance by veteran educators. They fear they will be replaced by rapidly updating tools and devices. Truth is, the world is digital and the classroom is digital. The 21st century student is native to this digital world and our digital “immigrant mentality” is not going to cut it. We need to learn about new and creative ways to incorporate technology into our lessons and classroom activities. We will most likely not be replaced by technology in our lifetime, but if we want our students to learn the way they need to, not the way we want them to, then we must evolve and transform.
However, the evidence in the importance of tablet learning is all there, if you’re ready to accept it. Students can read and listen to text simultaneously. They can tap images that lead them on journeys for deeper learning, encounter others struggling with similar content, and even chat with their peers or industry experts to find solutions. The days of pleading with students to read are not gone, but with technology we can encourage students to read their “own” way. Technology allows for increased access to learning, both content and individual progress. Students cannot escape it and we can hold them accountable for it. Mobile apps provide a plethora of choices for educators, students, and parents, with many being reviewed daily by experts and users. These supportive (often called disruptive) technologies have transformed education and we must prepare students for a rapidly updating and upgrading future. The speed with which things are changing is a reminder to us of our responsibility to nurture today’s not only socially conscious, but digital global citizen.
Danish Ahmed serves as the vice president of operations at iDeaUSA, a company dedicated to affordable and quality products, designed in the U.S. Danish is responsible for overseeing product development, manufacturing and sales partnerships, as well as marketing strategy and customer service logistics. He also runs the operations of iDeaPLAY, an Android tablet built specifically for kids. Danish has over 10 years of experience in technology, development and marketing and is a successful serial entrepreneur, having co-founded three ventures, including his first at the age of 14.
Mayeen Farooqui M.Ed., iDeaUSA’s director of education technology is an educator, teacher trainer and successful education consultant. She received a B.A. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and earned a Master’s in education from the University of California, Davis. Mayeen has over a decade of experience working for and teaching students in elementary, secondary, and post secondary institutions in California. As an avid education technologist, she works tirelessly to increase access to technology and develop rich content based on research in her own classroom experience. Follow @iDeaUSAus or @iDeaPLAY