Independent learning identified as a major benefit of tablets

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The second phase of a national research study by Tablet for Schools examining the impact of the use of tablets in schools has been released, with results showing that tablets can increase pupils’ independent learning, along with encouraging more collaboration with peers.

The study also found that teacher knowledge and adequate infrastructure are two determining factors in the success of tablets in education.

When questioned, the majority of pupils felt that they were more motivated to work because of their tablet (69 per cent), and found it easier to learn (87 per cent).

Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) believed that their work had improved since having a tablet, and 88 per cent believed that they would do better in exams.

However, the research showed that 42 per cent of pupils prefer teacher-led classes to independent learning, with pupils in years 9 and 10 more likely to agree with this sentiment (48 per cent), versus those in years 7 and 8 (37 per cent).

The study found that teacher knowledge and adequate infrastructure are two determining factors in the success of tablets in education. Infrastructure, insurance or self-insuring, and protection for the devices also need to be considered before introduction takes place, and access to appropriate content is key to using the devices effectively.

For schools considering the introduction of one-to-one tablets, learning from other establishments that have undergone this journey is highly beneficial. In all of the schools researched, pupils were accepted by teachers to be driving the process forward, as their technical skills are frequently superior to those of their teacher.

Andrew Harrison of the not-for-profit campaign Tablets for Schools and CEO of Carphone Warehouse plc said: “The Tablets for Schools research shows that pupils and staff are reaping real benefits through using tablets in school and at home.

"But these schools are pioneers. It is clear that the process is currently far too complicated for school leadership teams to introduce and use Tablets effectively. We believe one to one devices offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help all UK pupils transform the way they learn.

Conducted by Family, Kids and Youth, a global research agency, and commissioned by the not-for-profit Tablets for Schools initiative, the research summarises findings from a qualitative and quantitative evaluation study examining the feasibility and educational impact of giving one-to-one tablets to every child in school. The research programme is the largest of its type and is supported by Carphone Warehouse, Dixons, 9ine Consulting, Google, Samsung, Pearson, Virgin Media and Talk Talk.

School Leadership Today
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