Before I started writing this, I thought that my kids were unique insofar as they’ve used tablets for a little while (my daughter’s 11 and my son will soon be 8). I guess not. Evidently elementary schools bought 3.5 million tablets in 2012 (I think that stat’s globally, not just the US), so that means my kids are more in the norm than I suspected. Oh, and kids 13-17 who own a smartphone? 58%.
But why? What good are they? In my house, my kids use tablets to look at YouTube (both educationally and for entertainment). My son uses the music programs to create songs. My daughter draws and creates art. Both kids have a habit of answering their own questions by asking YouTube or sometimes Google (never me). Both kids are evidently learning basic coding principles this week and my son, who bleeds computers and video games, breezed through the 4th grade level tests (he’s in second grade).
The deal is simple: tablets bring a whole new level of interactivity to learning. So, when Samsung asked me to talk about something related to tablets and the like, I didn’t even flinch. I figured that this is a story that people might not fully know, and I have a lot of first hand experience with kids using tablets. But then I wondered, how does Samsung make this any better?
Evidently, the big deal is that they’re doing a lot with apps in the Samsung School that they’ve created. They’ve got interactive tools like screen sharing, screen monitoring, ways to control the student devices (because I was about to wonder what keeps kids from being like me and just doing whatever instead of learning), and more. Also, teachers can manage their scheduling, modify class info and assignments, and the like. There are rich media sharing opportunities (like audio and video sharing), and a bunch of school-wide announcement features. If I’m reading it right, there are lots of opportunities here to do something a little more tightly and part of a system that you might be able to cobble together with other tools, but Samsung’s just made it really nice and neat.
Join me and much smarter people for a LIVE Twitter chat
On Friday, December 13th (2013), I’ll be a guest on a live Twitter chat sponsored by Samsung. All you have to do to participate is use the hashtag #tabletchat. Not sure how to follow along? I use Tweetchat to participate. You might find that easy enough. Let’s take the conversation further, shall we?