Over the past five years, a revolution in our classrooms has been developing as more schools adopt mobile technology as a learning tool. Without the assistance of government policies or incentives, teachers and heads are coming to independent decisions that tablets could benefit the academic progress of their students.
The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) commissioned research exploring the implementation of tablet devices in schools. BESA received responses from 632 school co-ordinators, heads and ICT managers from primary and secondary schools.
The respondents were almost unanimous in their view that the adoption of tablet devices in the classroom should be organic. Only 4% of those who responded indicated they would want government policy support before implementing tablet technology through their schools. Research and evidence of effectiveness are far more important in the decision-making process that government interference.
Possibly the most striking statistic from the research is the quick adoption of the technology – with nearly three-quarters of respondents revealing their schools were implementing tablet devices in their classrooms. There are an estimated 721,000 tablets purchased by schools in the UK for use by students – this number is expected to increase to almost 950,000 by the end of 2016.
However, the report revealed that 34% of schools believe their current implementation of tablets in the classroom is poor – indicating room for improvement. This could be partly due to the poor broadband connections received by schools; only half of primary schools and two-thirds of secondary schools revealed their connections were ideal for tablet support.
Many schools are currently looking to improve their WiFi services. In 2015, only 52% of respondents believed their current WiFi connections were sufficient for tablet support – but this figure is expected to grow to 89% by 2020.
Another barrier faced by schools looking to implement tablet technology is training and support – cited by 42% of primary and 55% of secondary schools. However, as tablets become more influential and important in daily life – training requirements may become less important.
Primary v Secondary
There is a very fine split between primary and secondary schools in attitudes towards using tablet devices in schools. Currently 71% of primary schools are using tablet devices, and an impressive 76% of secondary schools currently use the technology. These figures are expected to grow by 8% and 9% respectively.
However, this statistic reveals more about primary and secondary school use of computer devices in the classroom – with tablets representing a larger percentage of all computers in primary classrooms than secondary classrooms.
In 2014, only 56% of primary schools were using tablets in the classroom – representing a huge 15% jump over the past 12 months. Likewise, 26% of primary schools reported they had no fixed plans to use tablets in the classroom in 2014 – this number has fallen to 21% this year.
The number of secondary schools with no fixed plans to implement tablet devices has dropped even more dramatically from 29% in 2014 to 15% in 2015.
Like any new technology or teaching technique, the introduction of tablets is most effective when completed in a considered manner. The Innova team can help you design a classroom which incorporates built-in technology to get maximum benefit for students and teachers alike.
Our recent overhaul of the science laboratories at Denstone College is a great example. Our Teacher Wall incorporates an interactive TV, alongside other features such as whiteboards and display cases, to fully integrate the teaching resource.
Our flexible service accommodates almost endless classroom requirements – helping you turn old and tired classrooms into comprehensive learning spaces, maximising student potential and academic progress.
To find out how Innova can help modernise your existing classrooms visit our homepage or give us a call on 0161 477 5300.