The E-Tablet is Only a Tool
The e-tablet is a versatile and powerful piece of technology that our students instinctively know how to use; their brains are naturally wired for it. Even two-year olds can pick up a tablet and be up and running in no time at all. Games, pictures, music, and video applications are usually the first programs that fascinate them. But with proper guidance from teachers and parents the tablet can be turned into a potent learning tool.
In the school setting the productive and educational use of the e-tablet depends almost 100% on the teacher. Teacher decides when the tablet may be taken out and used; teacher decides in what places and in what ways the tablet shall or may be used. Teacher can suggest or provide educational programs or applications, educational games, educational sites, and other ways of making the tablet a productivity tool.
We are in a privileged and challenging situation where 70%-80% of our pupils and students are tablet users. We have a powerful technology in our hands; one that can make learning more engaging, fun, and efficient. But this will not happen unless we desire it to happen and challenge ourselves to plan, to innovate, and to share experiences. Only by planning and by sharing of experiences will we be able to move our school into a breakthrough in terms of teaching/learning methodologies that makes optimal use of today’s hand-held computing devices.
I would like to ask each teacher to answer the following questions in her/his mind:
- How am I planning my lessons to make them more engaging through the use of the tablet? How often do I include a tablet-mediated activity in my lesson plan?
- If I am a frequent or innovative tablet user, how do I share my “good news,” with my fellow teachers?
- If I am an Academic Coordinator, how am I promoting the learner-centered learning environment of LSGH through tablet-mediated lessons of my teachers?
By January 2014 a team from De La Salle University College of Education will be evaluating our two year old Pearl Program. Among the things we want to find out will be “are our students learning better because of our Pearl Program?” The answer to this question will depend on your answers to the three questions above.