In an unplanned series of sorts, we’re showcasing a couple of posts about the 2013 NMC/EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Horizon Report for Higher Education. We’ve already talked about the key trends in the report and some challenges we face in implementing education technology, so we’re ready to take a look at the six technologies highlighted in the report as being game-changers for education. Along with MOOCs, tablet computing rounded out the ‘first horizon’ (identified as entering mainstream use in a year or less), we’ll address them next.
Y’all know that we like iPads here at Edudemic and we talk about them a lot, and the Horizon Report showcases a number of different examples of institutions using tablets of all kinds to supplement learning in a variety of subjects. We’ve linked to each of them below (along with the description provided in the report) so you can check out some of what the investigators saw as great examples.
Students studying introductory Chinese at Northwestern University are supplementing their course material with iPad apps, which are enabling them to look up word definitions and hear their own pronunciations juxtaposed with those of native speakers, as well as help them learn how to correctly write characters by tracing the order of strokes directly on the device.
At HAMK University of Applied Sciences in Finland educators initiated the MobiLearn project to develop creative ways for integrating mobile devices into the curriculum. They are currently piloting Samsung Galaxy tablets and have cited that the devices work well for creating and sharing documents.
Samsung is piloting a program called “Smart School” at Lavington Primary School in Africa in which classrooms are equipped with Galaxy Tablets. So far, teachers have noted that the devices have made learning experiences more personalized and interactive.
Seton Hall University recently became the first university in the US to adopt Windows 8 PC tablets. By having a combination of tablet mobility with the functionality of a computer, the university believes they are enabling quicker access to information, deeper engagement, and greater flexibility.
The Stanford University School of Medicine distributed iPads to incoming students and studied their use in classrooms and laboratories. They found the tablets were favored over laptops for note taking and especially effective in quickly accessing reference materials and educating patients in clinical settings.
Amrita University students and teachers are using a $35 tablet called Aakash — a low-cost alternative to other mobile devices. Their ongoing research is focused on developing responsive UI-based content for tablets that integrates with their formative assessment process and e-learning environments.
The University of Western Sydney (UWS) announced that 11,000 incoming students and staff members would be receiving iPads as part of a comprehensive curriculum renewal strategy. UWS is moving to a blended learning environment for all degrees beginning in 2013 and believes tablets are an important tool to support this new learning and teaching model.