Research shows tablets in schools aid learning

Independent learning has been identified as a major benefit of tablets in education.

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Independent learning has been identified as a major benefit of tablets in education.

The second phase of a national research study 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 not-for-profit Tablets for Schools research programme is conducted by Family, Kids and Youth, a global market and social research agency, and is supported by Carphone Warehouse, Dixons, 9ine Consulting, Google, Samsung, Pearson, Virgin Media and Talk Talk. Currently embedded within 24 secondary schools, the study examines the impact of tablets on education.

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

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) believed their work had improved since having a tablet, and 88 percent believed they would do better in exams. However, the research showed that 42 percent of pupils prefer teacher-led classes to independent learning, with pupils in years 9 and 10 more likely to agree with this sentiment (48 percent), versus those in years 7 and 8 (37 percent).

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", said Tablets for Schools.

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", the project said.

Andrew Harrison of Tablets for Schools and CEO of Carphone Warehouse, said: "The 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."

Harrison said the project was "creating a blueprint" for schools to use and adapt to suit their needs.

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