As we see more movement to tablet computing, we will also see all kinds of reasons to put this directly into the hands of many different groups of students. One group that always seems to benefit from adaptive technology is our exceptional children. By that, I refer to students with learning disabilities, physical impairments, and behavioral concerns. Years ago I witnessed the amazing sight of seeing an autistic child who sat at the back of the room, quietly, no matter what the teacher did for the student COME OUT of his cocoon to use a SMART Board. Yes, the silent, unsocial child became engaged using the SMART Board.
So what about tablets? Could we see similar results with a ‘smaller’ screen? Many think so. I recently read an article about how nook Colors (and other tablets) could overcome many of the issues of providing these technologies. (http://community.saugususd.org/jklein/weblog/1369.html). In it, they mention how existing adaptive devices are more clunky and much more expensive:
Expensive, highly specialized, single purpose devices have long been in use in this space, in an effort to overcome issues with fine motor skills and other cognitive challenges for which traditional computing interfaces are simply ineffective.
In looking at tablets, we can place a cheaper device in a students hand, while still not losing any real loss of application. Makes a lot of sense, and considering all the sub $500.00 tablets, I think this will begin to gain a solid footing in EC departments. When you begin to look at the plethora of apps out there (the article has some good ones to choose from), definitely a win win!