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6 Factors That Make iPads, Tablets, and eBook Readers Suitable for Learning

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6 Factors That Make iPads, Tablets, and eBook Readers Suitable for Learning
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6 Factors That Make iPads, Tablets, and eBook Readers Suitable for Learning

There are certainly many ways that technology improves the lives of many people of all ages. It has made mundane tasks, like basic research, more efficient and has become an integral part of many lives. However, one of the most important ways that technology is transforming traditional systems is how it has come to affect learning and teaching. More and more schools and learning environments are including advanced technology, like iPads, tablets, and ebook readers, into their programmes. These devices can improve the learning experience for students of all ages as well as their teachers, by implementing their interactivity, novelty, as well as many other factors. Although not every person may be on board with including these devices in classrooms, the fact is that they can be very effective. It is also important to note that many types of these devices are available at electronics retailers and online from eBay. Whether for large scale use in a classroom or one-on-one learning and tutoring, there are many reasons that iPads, tablets, and eBook readers are quite suitable for learning, such as: interactivity, books that come to life, novelty, progress tracking, productivity, and accessibility.

1. Interactivity

One of the most important ways that iPads, tablets, and ebook readers are suitable for learning is the way in which they allow students and teachers alike to interact with material. Much more so than reading a book or even taking a test with paper and pencil, tablet devices allow for interaction. This comes from the ability to type, touch, move, and otherwise manipulate words and images on the screen. This makes tablets extremely effective learning tools.

Students Are Engaged

Ultimately, the result of tablet interactivity is that students are engaged with their learning. Because they are forced to touch and physically interact with the device, they are more likely to stay focused on the task at hand. The more focused a student is, no matter what his or her age, the more likely they are to actually learn the lesson being taught.

2. Books Come to Life

Reading is an essential part of the learning process at many levels and a tablet, iPad, or ebook reader could never completely replace the idea of a textbook. However, textbooks presented in this unique medium can be much more compelling than a standard textbook. A textbook on a tablet can truly come to life with colour graphics, interactive quizzes, and any number of other features that serve to drive students to keep learning. Reading this way can be much easier for students who tend to have problems focusing on dense or dry material.

3. Novelty

While this factor may cause some parents and teachers to be wary of learning on a tablet device, the novelty of this type of learning can indeed be a benefit. Anything that is new to the classroom or to the daily routine of a learner is likely to be a more effective teaching method. Students of all ages are excited to experience learning on an iPad and that enthusiasm translates to more dedicated learning, which is certainly a good thing. Although it is true that the novelty of tablet learning may wear off over time, that is no reason to deem the devices unsuitable for learning.

Variety

While the tablet device, itself, can provide variety in the classroom, there is also the variety of ways to use the tablet for learning that should be considered. For instance, on an iPad there are not only many apps that come standard on the device that can facilitate learning, there are new apps being developed all the time. This means that even when the novelty of the iPad, itself, wears off, new applications can serve the purpose of novelty and continue to encourage learning.

4. Progress Tracking

Using tablets for learning can also make the process of analysing progress more effective and efficient. Many learning apps make it easy or even automated to keep track of a learner's progress. These applications can determine which lessons have been mastered as well as locate weaknesses in the learner. In crowded classrooms, this can be especially helpful since it is not always easy for a single teacher to keep track of results and outcomes in such a standardised and scientific way.

5. Productivity

Effective learning is certainly an end unto itself, but the productivity capabilities of tablet devices is also an important factor and does not need to be divorced from the device's suitability for learning. Depending on the apps that are installed, these devices make it possible to put together elegant presentations very easily. These features can be useful for both students and teachers who want to share important information and work with a group of people. Many tablets also make it easy to connect them to a wireless network or other device for easy broadcast on a bigger screen.

Creativity

The freedom to be creative and to explore creativity is certainly important when it comes to learning. Tablet devices offer many different ways for students to display and nurture that creativity. Applications like Apple's GarageBand make it easy to learn and create music, while a camera function and editing applications means students can make videos and slideshows for easy sharing. These creative capabilities certainly make tablet devices, including iPads, tablets, and ebook readers suitable for learning of many different types.

6. Accessibility

Finding new ways for all students to learn, whether they are gifted or have special needs, should be a goal of any learning environment. Tablet computers and similar devices can offer accessibility that other types of devices do not offer. For example, tablets can read passages aloud, helping students who have trouble seeing or who do not have one-on-one access to a teacher to read for them. Furthermore, because tablets are designed to be used by one student at a time, they can also make it possible, and even easy, for students to learn more at their own pace, even if that pace is slower than the rest of the classroom. This allows students with special needs to learn alongside their peers without slowing them down.

Types of Devices

While tablet devices of many types can act as useful tools for learning, it is a good idea to assess which type of tablet device is best for a particular circumstance. The following table outlines the most common types of tablet devices, as well as their advantages and drawbacks.

Device

Advantages

Disadvantages

iPad

Colourful and engaging display

Thousands of learning apps

Quite costly

Tablet

Generally less costly than an iPad

Nice displays

Not compatible with Apple apps

eBook reader

Least costly

Simple displays

Some offer eInk

Most have very little in the way of graphics display or media capabilities

The right tablet device for either a learning environment or personal use depends largely on the needs of the primary user. If cost is a main concern, ebook readers tend to be on the low-end of the scale but do not offer nearly as much when it comes to graphics, video, and other media capabilities.

How to Buy iPads, Tablets, and eBook Readers on eBay

Whether you decide to purchase an iPad, tablet, or ebook reader for learning purposes or simply for your own enjoyment, it is likely that you can easily find the perfect device to suit your needs on eBay. If you have been able to narrow down the type of device you want, enter some descriptive search terms into the search box, which is available on every page of the site. For example, you may want to search for " Samsung tablet " or " 3G iPad ". Remember that the more specific your search, the fewer results you see. You can always use the eBay filters provided in order to narrow your results.

Tablet computers and ebook readers can represent a significant investment, which means that it can be tempting or even advisable to look for a used version of an earlier model. If you find a used tablet with the features that you want, be sure to fully read the listing and examine the photos before completing your purchase. You can also send a message to the seller through the eBay interface with any questions that are not answered in the listing. This due diligence is a good idea so that you know exactly what you are getting when you do complete your transaction.

Conclusion

For some people, finding out that the latest device or gadget is suitable for learning may be completely unimportant. After all, many people use tablet computers for work or for personal entertainment and recreation. However, for those people who want their technology investment to have a more noble purpose, it could be a cause for celebration. The truth is that iPads, tablets, and ebook readers are suitable for many different pursuits and purposes, but among those is certainly learning. The novelty of a new device in a classroom or other type of learning environment is, in itself, reason enough to declare these devices useful. But in addition to novelty, tablets also offer interactive applications, variety, and an overall interest and engagement that has never been possible in this way before. While it is true that not every classroom may be able to afford or even benefit from tablets as learning devices, there is no denying that these devices are useful and suitable for learning.

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