‘Wake-up call’ over school use of tablet computers

The Belfast Telegraph is reporting on a study conducted by educational research consultant, Dr Liz Fawcett that increasing use of tablet computers is distracting children from doing homework.

Two-thirds of experienced teachers also felt there was a risk of pupils accessing inappropriate material in the classroom, according to a study carried out for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

The leading teaching union is calling for urgent Government action over the growing use of iPads and other tablets in schools.

ATL Northern Ireland director Mark Langhammer said the research was a “wake-up call” that schools required better guidance.

“As things stand, there’s a serious risk that the education and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of children could be compromised if the concerns highlighted in this survey prove to be justified.”

The online survey canvassed the views of 376 teaching staff and parents from across Northern Ireland, most of whom had educational tablet experience.

Tablets in Schools: How Useful Are They? by educational research consultant, Dr Liz Fawcett revealed:

:: More than four-fifths (82%) of those who responded believed pupils could be distracted by other activities they could carry out on the tablet, like gaming or messaging, if devices were used for homework.

:: 72% believed pupils could become distracted when using tablets in classrooms.

:: 64% of teaching staff with tablet experience felt there was a risk of access to inappropriate material in classrooms.

:: 77% felt that the development of writing skills could be hampered by their use.

:: 71% felt it was wrong for schools to require parents to pay for the equipment as not all families could afford the cost.

More at: ‘Wake-up call’ over school use of tablet computers

What do you think? Are tablets a useful tool in the classroom or do they pose more of a distraction? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter…

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Categories: 1st POST, Northern Ireland, Teaching and Technology.

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