Tablet Insight: Goodbye Textbooks, Hello Tablets

Tablet Insight: Goodbye Textbooks, Hello Tablets

Interactive. Shareable. Fun. Creative. These are all words that students and teachers have been using to describe how tablets—specifically the iPad—have been changing classroom dynamics. I take a look at some of the ways these products are being turned into the new textbook.

The Blocks! app lets students build a prototype made out of Legos—good for those long geometry lessons. The educator can then approve or change the model the students have to create a fix to have it approved. Pretty slick, make sure you have a case with nice microfiber interior to help wipe off all those fingerprints!

Try using the front and rear cameras in the classroom (or even at home) with the app Board Cam. The app turns the iPad2 into “document camera”, which lets you write on the picture like on a whiteboard. There’s even a laser pointer to show something specific. It may be good to invest in a case with a stand to hold the iPad upright and in steady position.

In more advanced, high-school classrooms, a popular app for biology classes has been the 3D Cell Simulation and Stain Tool. Students create, stain and save a cell. Then you can use Power Projector for students to share the cell with the class. If you’re in a place like a lab or science room with your tablet, then check out some of our waterproof cases and definitely something from silicon or TPU. This will help prevent an iPad slipping off a table onto the floor.

To really see how the iPad can bring books and storytelling to life, then check out the apps Cartoon Studio or Strip Designer. These apps create comics with bubbles to tell a short story. You can even have fun and add audio to the image with Fotobabble. Simply upload to the web and share away. Or if you want to stay at home and “flip” through the pages of the comic strip, I recommend getting cozy with a book style case design.

The classroom is bringing history to life through apps like Gettysburg that show the class what happen during the event. If you only have one iPad in the classroom, then project it on the wall with MapProjector. Try Griffin’s iPad 2 AirStrap case to make sure you have one hand free while your holding the iPad.

Educators like the iPad’s large, flat touch screen that allows students to keep eye contact with their teachers. Many schools, though, have dumped large sums of money into purchasing iPads, rather than training teachers or buying cheaper tablets (eg, Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Nook Tablet, etc). This has brought much criticism of some school systems, according to the New York Times.

But will the rise of sales in media centered tablets, like the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, also rise in the classroom? Will Android tablets be able to make the jump into the schools? This could be a whole new market that could see these tablet makers get an edge on the iPad.

Tablet Insight is a weekly column by Thomas Andersen that focuses on the innovative tablet uses and considers what is the most compatible and necessary tablet case.
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