Tablet PCs Dynamic Change: Ken Collura Tech Director
HP Compaq Tablet PCs
Our goal was to incorporate technology into our learning environment that facilitates interactivity in the classroom, and enables students to learn in the way that best suits them. To accomplish this, we needed a technology partner like HP to work with us through every step of the process.
The integration of HP Tablet PCs into our classrooms received a fantastic response from students and teachers alike. In fact, the tablet PCs were so popular that we expanded the program a few years later, so that more students could participate.
Students say that tablet PCs help them make better use of their time. With the HP Tablet PCs, students receive course materials from the teacher, submit homework assignments and get them back over the school’s wireless network—all in real-time. As a result, students can use their time more productively – doing work during breaks, over lunch, or before afterschool activities start. They don’t have to wait until they’re in a computer lab, or at home. Students can study and learn practically anytime, anywhere.
Teachers say that HP Tablet PCs have changed the classroom dynamic in a positive way. Classes with tablet PCs are no longer taught primarily with lectures. Instead, they’re more like interactive laboratories. The “Guided Notes” feature allows teachers to provide a detailed outline, rather than all their notes for the class. This way students need to listen in class to fill in the gaps. It not only delivers the subject matter, but also teaches students how to listen and take notes more effectively.
HP Tablet PCs are easy to use – students and teachers took to them quickly. I’ve seen virtually every tablet out there, and think the HP Tablet PCs have a great form factor; a quality screen, user-friendly stylus, and they’re durable to take day-to-day use by the students.
How We Use It:
Tablet computing allows us to tailor instruction to the individual needs of our students, across the curriculum. Teachers are able to hone in on the learning style that gets the best results from each student. For example, one student was failing English until he decided to read a short story into the Audio Notes Recorder on his tablet PC. Then he listened to the story. His comprehension—and ultimately his English grade—improved dramatically. That student is what we call an audio learner. The tablet PC is key to his success in the classroom. Similarly, students with physical disabilities might not have the motor skills to type well. Tablet PCs allow them to dictate their essays into the computer, and use voice recognition software to turn the sound file into a document for the teacher.
We’ve had a phenomenal response to the tablet PC program at the two high schools where the program is underway, and hope to expand it to additional schools and students in the future.