We’re constantly hearing chatter about deploying iPads in classrooms. For good reason, as iPads represent the vast majority of tablets in the market today. However, schools can’t always afford these premium devices and instead opt for lower priced Android tablets. That’s exactly what the Learning Untethered project did for a 5th grade classroom during the past academic year. They’ve just released a must-read report that details every aspect of how it went.
The report offers a high-level step-by-step guide to deploying Android tablets (or really any tablet like an iPad is also applicable to an extent) that would be helpful to anyone considering a deployment.
Here are the bullet points if you’re in a time crunch. Click here to download the 50-page report and plan on reading through it in its entirety when you have some time. It’s worth it.
- How It Worked: An entire 5th grade class of 27 students was given a set of 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tabs running Android 2.2. They had a mobile data plan that included filtering from Kajeet for Education.
- The School District’s Role: The school district came up with new policies, processes, and instituted IT support for the project.
- Parental Involvement: The parents were involved in the project as well. They helped monitor Internet usage at home and helped students with hardware problems. They helped ensure that the devices were used for proper academic purposes while at home / away from the school’s filtered wi-fi.
- Price: The overall price came out to be $200 per student per year.
- Key Questions: The key questions asked at the outset of the project were about if Android was a viable alternative to iPads, if students could behave responsibly online, and if a tablet actually has a place in education.
- Key Takeaways: The key takeaways were that tablets didn’t change the day-to-day tasks performed by students but instead enriched the overall complexity of classroom work.
- Digital Citizenship: Students met expectations that they were able to behave responsibly during the time spent online.
- Technical Problems: There were multiple technical problems throughout every week that required the tablets to be reset to factory settings. This lost the students’ data which in turn made students less happy with their devices. This was an ongoing problem and led students to not be able to rely on the tablets.
- Technical Problems (cont.): The school hoped a software upgrade would fix the hanging and crashing problems with the tablets but the devices were no longer supported by Samsung. Something to seriously consider when deploying new technology.
- Preferred Apps: Edmodo, Google Earth, Evernote, and YouTube were the most popular tools used.
- The ‘Feel’ Of The Class: The overall ‘feel’ of the classroom shifted as students took a more active role in discovery and active learning.
- Time Well Spent: The teacher was able to actually spend less time on teaching factual knowledge and instead had time to pursue higher-level learning and exploration.
- BYOD Instead: If you’re not able to deploy dozens of devices, the study recommends trying a BYOD classroom. They saw a very obvious improvement in the mindset of the students thanks to the introduction of devices, so get them into your classroom any way you can.
Your Next Steps
Again, these are just the key takeaways from the study. The actual report (click here to download) is a must-read for any teacher looking to deploy technology. Period. It’s a report that not only offers a high-level step-by-step guide but also comes with recommendations, best practices, and even competitive market analysis.
Have you deployed technology and found different results? We’re compiling a list of real-world scenarios for the Edudemic Magazine so be sure to send your studies and findings to us at media[at]edudemic.com. Thanks in advance!
Thumbnail image courtesy of Learning Untethered