Technology is disrupting learning and teaching with regard to how students solve problems. Problem-solving covers a range of skills, such as creativity, the ability to explain, teamwork, logical thinking, and the ability to think algorithmically.
Schools need to have a two-step learning strategy focusing on how tablets can be used to realise this problem-solving benefit:
- Set clear learning goals
- Connect these goals to actual practices and actions
Below, we give you a few examples of what this entails:
Setting Clear Learning Goals
Learning goals vary by school. Here are some that were set by our research schools:
- Greater engagement with learning (either general or with specific subjects)
- Increasing the level of independent learning
- Encouraging collaboration
- Monitoring student progress more effectively
- Customising teaching to different learning abilities (particularly for SEN students)
- Enabling students to develop source discrimination skills when researching online
Connecting Goals to Actions
For each goal, formulate actions or best practices to help you achieve it, as follows:
Get Teachers Comfortable Using Technology
Our schools had a number of best practices in place to ensure that teachers were comfortable enough to use technology with students:
- Teachers got devices beforehand so they were familiar with them before using them with students
- Ongoing training to help teachers resolve any issues identified after rollout
- Student champions or ambassadors. Many students were more proficient on the devices than teachers were, and willing to share their skills with staff and other students
Using Technology for Effective Research
Students can look up information on-the-go. However, older students in particular are concerned about reliable information. Our schools did the following to ensure the content quality:
- Restricted access to unreliable websites
- Developed student source discrimination skills: Taught students to be critical of online content such as that on Wikipedia and Youtube, and to look for additional sources.
Create Customised Teaching Materials
Customising content can facilitate different learning styles. Here are some ideas when it comes to creating and using customised content:
- Creating Customised Content: At one of our schools, customised content is created using a structured process. The lesson is sketched out and then colleagues give input. The digital lesson is then created and tested with students and staff. For information on resources used to create customised content, visit our Creating Content section.
- Using Customised Content: 9ine relates how different schools approached the customisation of resources through iMovie, Storytelling, and Edmodo. In one case, students went on a geography expedition and were able to take pictures and add explanations to what they found. They also used their tablets to estimate the area. After the trip, the teacher was able to quickly assess what the student had done.