I use a desktop computer in my office, a laptop for teacher observations, and a PDA for walk through checklists. Isnâ€™t there some way I can consolidate and have the computing power I need in one mobile device?
A tablet PC might be the answer for you. Tablets are available in two styles: the slate and the convertible. Slates allow you to write directly on the screen using a digital pen, enabling you to enter text while sitting or standing. The tabletâ€™s handwriting recognition software â€˜readsâ€™ what youâ€™ve written and can convert the text into a word processing document. A docking station, which is purchased separately, allows you to add a keyboard and other peripherals to the slate. The convertible style tablet includes the slate feature, but also comes with a keyboard that can be accessed by lifting and swiveling the slate to make a laptop. This type of tablet can also be docked to use peripherals. Many tablet owners report that this system has become their primary computer.
The technology that makes tablets unique has improved greatly over the last two years, and tablets are increasing in popularity. Slates can be purchased for less than $1000. While convertibles are still more expensive than a conventional laptop, the price may be worth it for educators whose needs match the unique capabilities tablets offer.
Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young
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