High-Tech Classroom

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Class notes, textbooks, and lectures are all in one place for some high school students — in their tablet personal computers or tablet PC’s. But is this technology helping their grades? We uncover one surprising drawback.

Reading … writing … arithmetic. It’s hard to keep up, page after page after page. But now, what you see on the blackboard can be transferred automatically to this … an electronic notebook.

With the tablet PC — class lectures go from the screen at the front of the room to each student’s computer where note taking is a breeze. And textbooks are digitized right into the tablets.

“My notes before were all unorganized and never knew where anything was and then when I got my tablet I could put everything in one document,” says Kyle Barr, a senior at Bishop Hartley High School in Columbus, Ohio.

“The technology we want to use for the students is to change the way they are learning and to maximize the educational process for them,” says Ken Collura, an engineer for Diocese of Columbus schools.

These high school students have been using the tablets 24/7 for the past three years … at school and at home. Research shows most students like the benefits.

“Instead of carrying around a big old math book and a big English book in between periods, you just carry your tablet around,” says senior Lindsay Brown.

Human factors researchers immediately saw the learning advantages. The tablet PC’s allow more interaction between the teachers and students. Teachers can embed live web pages and live video into lectures.

“The richness that you can bring in when you’ve got a connection to the internet that you bring into class,” says Carolyn Sommerich, Ph.D., a researcher at Ohio State University.

One concerning drawback — the battery life on the tablet PC’s isn’t great. In an attempt to conserve power, kids are dimming their screens, putting strain on their eyes.

“It’s really a concern if kids aren’t letting their parents know that hey my eyes have been bothering me a little bit or I’m getting a headache,” says Dr. Sommerich.

As technology improves the battery problem should go away … leaving kids with a new high-tech approach to learning. Researchers are now teaching students about healthy computing — things like getting up and taking a break and how to use good posture.


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