Computers have surfaced to the forefront of education over the previous two decades. The laptop originally gave us the capabilities of a desktop computer in a portable form. Laptops have evolved and become even smaller and more portable. In more recent history, we have seen the introduction of notebook computers and computer tablets. The introduction of tablets and PCs in education has revolutionized learning, but it has caused controversy among students and educators. Many people worry that tablets and PCs are replacing conventional methods of education. Tablets, PCs, and e-books are powerful tools in the midst of the information age, but limitations and disadvantages do exist.
Tablets and PCs allow students to easily obtain information. These devices give us the ability to access the internet. The internet contains more information than we would ever need. Through the internet one can find the answer to almost any question. When curiosity strikes, Google, Yahoo, or Bing has a solution. Most modern mobile devices can access the internet through Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is available at pretty much every school or college and a variety of restaurants and other businesses. The ability to stay connected to the internet allows students to quickly receive information or access library databases from one’s current location.
Through the internet connection, applications can be downloaded onto a variety of mobile devices. Many educational applications exist to assist students at various levels of education with different tasks. For children in primary education, game applications exist to help children associate learning with fun. Applications such as Vocabulary and Grammar, Kids Puzzles Puzzingo, and The Oregon Trail: American Settler, help children establish basic grammar and spelling skills along with important knowledge about the United States (Carlisle).
Applications for students in secondary education and higher exist as well. Quizlet effectively prepares students for upcoming quizzes, tests, or exams. Rosetta Course provides an electronic alternative to learn a new language.
The most popular tablet, the iPad, has thousands of apps that can be downloaded directly from iTunes. Many classes use the Tumblr application for class discussions outside of the classroom. Classes that require group discussions about literature, events, or speakers utilize Tumblr. Tumblr allows students to post or respond to discussions initiated in class. Other student can view these post and share ideas among each other. The Honors Freshman Forum class at the University of North Alabama uses Tumblr to respond to weekly lectures by various speakers. Each student creates a Tumblr at the beginning of the semester, and post how they felt about the lecture and what impact the speaker had on them. Although Tumblr is computer based just like most social media, the Tumblr application became really convenient because I could Post at any time from my iPhone or iPad.
The Student Clicker-...