Tablets replacing PCs, textbooks in schools
The tablet computer is becoming a favored classroom companion around the country, as a study from analyst firm Piper Jaffray reveals teachers see the mobile technology outnumbering traditional computers in schools within the next five years.
Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster conducted a small survey of 25 educational IT directors and found all are either considering or deploying tablet initiatives in their schools.
According to the study, teachers see tablets playing several roles in the classroom. For example, 44 percent of respondents indicate that tablets are effective personalized learning tools, allowing students to adjust their studying processes to their own preferences. Forty-eight percent say they view tablets as a means of accessing information.
Teachers also see more students getting their hands on tablets than traditional computers. According to the study, respondents expect their schools to have one tablet per six students as compared to one PC per ten students now.
There are still some hurdles for tablets to overcome before they are widely accepted in the classroom. Cost will be a major obstacle for many cash-strapped districts. Experts say schools should also create clearly defined policies regarding student tablet use so the devices are not misused or damaged.