The @ASCD Arias Series-Teaching With Tablets

9/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
Recently ASCD released 4 short books that are aimed at packing a big punch in a small package. Each are less that 100 pages but have loads of quality information. Over the next few posts we will look at each one to see what they are all about. Then we will give away 1 copy of each. Sound like fun? In the first post we took a look at Fostering Grit. Today we take a look at Teaching With Tablets. 

It seems like more and more classrooms, schools and districts are embracing and utilizing tablets for learning. Even Microsoft got in on the act at ISTE this year giving away a Surface RT to nearly every attendee at the conference. In my district we have many schools buying iPads and Android devices for everything from teacher productivity tools to class sets that will be used in reading and mathematics interventions.

Tablets are full of possibilities. With the proliferation of apps and app stores it is easy to take a device out of the box and make it do pretty much whatever you want. But the biggest question I still grapple with, especially with Administrators is what are you going to do with them? They know they have to have them, but don't really have a plan as to what they want to do with them.

The ASCD Arias Teaching With Tablets should be required reading for anyone who is considering buying tablets for the classroom or for anyone trying to figure out how to use them. The authors have skillfully laid out simple considerations and plans for anyone looking to integrate these devices into their classroom.

In addition to the suggestions for use and ideas for integration, they do caution (smartly I might add) that it is easy to use tablets as substitutes for worksheets or other isolating activities. We have to use the technology in a smart way and use it when appropriate. Just because we have the access, doesn't mean we always have to use it.

One of the things I like best in this Arias is the checklist in the back. Used for planning and reflection, the teacher really has to consider the use of the technology during the lesson and consider afterwards things like data collection and formative assessment. For example, to start the checklist asks the teacher to "Establish Purpose" by reflecting upon what is it you want students to do in the lesson in general broken into content purpose, language purpose and social purpose. It really forces, in the planning process that the technology is something that should help achieve those goals and not be the focus of the lesson.

This Arias, is short. At 46 pages this is a super quick read. But don't be fooled by it's length. There is great and practical information packed into those pages. At at $7 for the eBook it's a bargain.

What to learn more about Teaching With Tablets or any of the other ASCD Arias series? Visit this page to learn more!

cross posted at blog.web20classroom.org

Steven W. Anderson is the Director of Instructional Technology for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in Winston-Salem, NC. He also regularly travels the country talking to schools and districts about the use of Social Media in the classroom. Steven has been recognized with the NOW Award and the 2009 and 2011 Edublogs, Twitterer of The Year Award. In 2012 he was named an ASCD Emerging Leader. Read more at blog.web20classroom.org.

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