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Teaching with Tablets

Teaching with Tablets

April 2015 | 152 pages | Learning Matters

The presence of handheld technologies in the classroom isn't enough - you need to know how to use them to enhance teaching and transform learning. 

As more and more primary schools acquire devices such as iPads and tablets, it is becoming clear that adding them as a classroom resource is not enough. Teachers and trainees need strategies to integrate these into existing learning contexts in a meaningful way. Without this, these fantastic resources lose their value.

This book helps teachers to make the most of these devices in the primary classroom. It offers guidance on:

  • how to use tablets to devise meaningful learning activities
  • embed them in genuine curriculum contexts, drawing upon case studies from existing practice

It is written for non-specialists and explains technical terms in an accessible, practical way. Each chapter begins with a case study contributed by a teacher using tablets in schools. Real life examples and comments like this give the text a truly practical focus. The book's Pinterest board includes the apps mentioned in the book as well as a handy infographic for a snapshot guide on starting off your tablet  teaching journey. 

A note from the authors

The use of technology in schools continues to evolve rapidly as new devices and tools become available, and the adoption of mobile devices such as iPads and tablets has been a particularly exciting development in recent years. The benefits offered by these technologies, such as their portability, connectivity, accessibility and range of media, present new challenges and opportunities for teaching and learning. As the take up of tablets gathers pace in our schools there is a need for advice on the best approaches and apps to help achieve successful learning outcomes. Teachers need to find meaningful ways to integrate the devices into their own practice and to evaluate which of the many thousands of educational apps might be appropriate for their pupils.

This book considers how iPads and tablets can be used to enhance teaching and learning in primary schools. It is especially relevant in the light of the computing curriculum, which puts a new emphasis on children as makers and creators of digital content. Across other curriculum subjects too, the introduction of mobile devices that can be quickly and reliably accessed has precipitated a shift in practice. For example, they have enabled teachers and children to spontaneously pursue lines of inquiry, to connect, collaborate and publish in many different ways, and to use their digital skills to enhance their exploration of the physical world outside the classroom.

With these opportunities in mind, we offer anecdotes from the classroom and examples of how tablets might be embedded within current pedagogy and practice as a natural learning tool. Each chapter combines a practical case study with discussion of related pedagogy, and recommends apps to support a personalised, inclusive and active approach to teaching and learning.

Theme: Combining Media
Chapter 1: Manipulating Media
Chapter 2: Digital Storytelling
Theme: Visible Learning
Chapter 3: Visible Learning
Chapter 4: Talk and Collaboration
Theme: Personalised Learning
Chapter 5: Individual Needs
Chapter 6: Early Years
Theme: Any Place Learning
Chapter 7: Technology Outdoors
Chapter 8: Children as Researchers
Theme: Computing Curriculum
Chapter 9: Computing
Chapter 10: Touch Physics

The content is very detailed and applicable to everyday use. I advised the students about the need to use tablets to enhance their learning.

Dr Philip Arthur
School of Business, Law and Psychology, Sunderland University
October 7, 2016

Useful additional information for students as a lot of schools now have purchased banks of iPads. Especially useful for Specialism students and/ or those with an early years focus.

Miss Gemma Rolfe
Faculty of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University
October 7, 2016

Not as practical as I had hoped. Lots of interesting research, but not the guide for using tablets that I needed.

Angie Simms
Teacher Training (Rochdale), Hopwood Hall College
May 13, 2016

This is one area teachers need to be aware of. Tablets seem to be very 'in', but how do you use them in the classroom? This books helps answer the question and gives some really good ideas.

Mr Pete Jackson
Initial Teacher Training, Lincoln College
April 28, 2016

Contextualised case studies at the start of each chapter provides the reader with exemplification of how tablets can be incorporated throughout the curriculum. The authors have used everyday language to enable the text to be accessible to all teachers, ITT students as well as to the computing specialist. Links are made between theory and practice and supported well with a wide range of recent and relevant reading. A well-written and structured text.

Mr Manish Kothari
School of Edu. Theology and Leadership, St Mary's University, Twickenham
February 18, 2016

This book is full of ideas and practical examples for students to explore. The format is accessible and the case studies with examples of planning are a great resource that would benefit those at the beginning of their teaching/early years practice. The chapters cover a wide range of learning areas and opportunities, including storytelling, talk, visual and outdoor learning. This emphasises the place of technology in children's learning in the classroom and beyond and showcases a contemporary pedagogy inspired by digital technology and learning.

Dr Dimitrina Kaneva
Health and Community Studies, University of Bolton
October 15, 2015

This is a welcomed resource for teachers who struggle to make the most out of technology in the classroom! It provides plenty of ideas/helpful hints of how to make the best use of technological resources. This book is really accessible for busy teachers and easy to follow.

Miss Syreeta Charles-Cole
Education, Carshalton College
October 16, 2015

The examples of practice are particularly useful for our new module on Digital Literacies and well supported with reference to recent research. Only one chapter specifically on Early Years, hence only supplemental reading.

Mrs Mary-Louise Maynes
Education, Bishop Grosseteste University
March 10, 2015

Very interesting book but not relevant to the course I am teaching at the moment.

Mrs Karen Fullman
Human and Physical Sciences, South Thames College
July 6, 2015

Very useful book

Mr Philip Jefferies
Department of Primary Education, Greenwich University
June 29, 2015

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