Why Tablets Are Failing Miserably In Higher Education

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Why are tablets failing in higher education? Umm, probably because you actually need to get something done in class? ;)

That's because for all their love in the media, tablets have yet to prove their weight when it comes to deep research and content manipulation in the classroom. Real student work comes in the form of content creation, not consumption -- an area Google and Apple are endlessly infatuated with.
 

GotNoRice

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Reminds me a lot of Graphing Calculators. Maybe 20% of the kids who have them actually need them, for the rest of the kids it is like a portable game console that you can get away with using at school.

It's a shame really because tablets, laptops, even cellphones could have many legit uses in the Classroom but it will always be easier for a teacher to take the easy way out and simply ban all devices than actually do their their job and give the kids who don't fuck around all day a chance.
 

Yakk

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A few high-schools around my parts only hand out tablets to students who qualify for enriched school programs. For the other students it's business as usual, pencil and paper.

At first I wasn't sure about it, but as I'm seeing it develop it seems to work. Even if they play with them, they still gotta keep up with their classes which they had to work to qualify for.

Other schools went chrome books for everyone, and well, they're chrome books.
 

ShamisOMally

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This is the problem with tablets

Tablets frankly by themselves suck rather fiercely

To use a tablet correctly in a classroom, you need a keyboard and possibly a mouse, and when that's the case, why not just buy a laptop?

Tablets are fun little devices, but they are not a fully functioning PC to do work with unless you outfit them with keyboards etc, and like I said if that's the case, why not just get a laptop?

Hell I own a tablet and the only thing I use it for is watching it when I go for walks or when I'm outside talking with the family and I'm looking up stuff, otherwise its worthless
 

DF-1

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Everyone that sees my surface 2 pro in my college wants one when they see what it does.

microsoft doesn't know how to market or who to market to.
 

heatlesssun

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Everyone that sees my surface 2 pro in my college wants one when they see what it does.

microsoft doesn't know how to market or who to market to.

I think we may see some focus coming from Microsoft tomorrow around the Surface. It looks like digital ink is going to be a point of emphasis for Microsoft in the new Surface Mini, Modern Office and other devices and apps it would seem. There's an interesting post from Paul Thurrott today about this subject: http://winsupersite.com/mobile-devi...digital-ink-key-advantage-windows-and-surface. The underlying article in this post discusses ink a lot and specifically mentions just how powerful OneNote can be on a device that supports ink. And the author also mentions how flexible convertible and 2 in 1 devices are for higher educational purposes.
 

pcjunkie

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Everyone that sees my surface 2 pro in my college wants one when they see what it does.

microsoft doesn't know how to market or who to market to.

That's because its a tablet trying to be a laptop priced like an Ultrabook. Not hard to figure out where its going wrong.
 

Phoenix333

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It used to be that all teachers needed was a chalk board, paper, pencil, and some books. That was enough to get people to the moon. All this electronic junk is just a distraction.
 

heatlesssun

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That's because its a tablet trying to be a laptop priced like an Ultrabook. Not hard to figure out where its going wrong.

The Surface Pro is trying to be a hybrid device, which is what it is. For a Windows device in its price range it probably sells as well as anything out there. People are always comparing the Surface to cheaper clamshell laptops and if that's all one needs that's fine. But the Surface does support pen and touch and as a digital inking device a clamshell laptop obviously doesn't support those capabilities.
 
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I predicted this years ago when I saw school districts giving children iPads to take to school and home. I even have the fb post if you don't believe me.

Pure
F'n
Stupidity
 
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That's because its a tablet form factor trying to be a laptop priced like an Ultrabook. And getting all that stuff into a tablet form factor and getting reasonable performance & battery life is hard to do.Not hard to figure out where its going wrong and why people don't understand why it's so flippin expensive. It is after all a niche market.

Fix'd it for ya
 

heatlesssun

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It used to be that all teachers needed was a chalk board, paper, pencil, and some books. That was enough to get people to the moon. All this electronic junk is just a distraction.

With something like a Surface Pro, a group of people around the world can use a pen and draw on a canvas and collaborate. The thing about technology, especially something as complex as a Surface Pro, you need to understand what it can and can't do. The iPad exploded on the scene and people and organizations just started buying them without really considering how to use them on the productive side and how well that would work.
 

Naed

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I think we may see some focus coming from Microsoft tomorrow around the Surface. It looks like digital ink is going to be a point of emphasis for Microsoft in the new Surface Mini, Modern Office and other devices and apps it would seem. There's an interesting post from Paul Thurrott today about this subject: http://winsupersite.com/mobile-devi...digital-ink-key-advantage-windows-and-surface. The underlying article in this post discusses ink a lot and specifically mentions just how powerful OneNote can be on a device that supports ink. And the author also mentions how flexible convertible and 2 in 1 devices are for higher educational purposes.

Thank you for that one :)
 

heatlesssun

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Thank you for that one :)

I'm very interested to see what comes from the Surface event tomorrow. The things that have been leaked this far do seem to indicate that Microsoft is going to promote inking heavily. The Surface Mini looks to the first digital pen enabled Windows RT device. And there was that leak from Microsoft Research about Modern Office and slides about "One Microsoft Ink". Microsoft has had a great ink technology for over a decade now. And while I understand it's niche, in educational environments writing and drawing are very much mainstream activities.

I've long be a big proponent of digital ink because it's extremely useful in certain situations. It certainly can't hurt Microsoft to put effort into it.
 

NoOther

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It used to be that all teachers needed was a chalk board, paper, pencil, and some books. That was enough to get people to the moon. All this electronic junk is just a distraction.

That and computers, sure.
 

gossipninja1

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the failure of tablets in higher ed is due to 2 reasons.

1. provides a myriad of distractions

2. Full screen apps = Poor multitasking.

If you are writing a paper, or does any sort of school work, being able to easily have multiple windows (with reference material visible) allows for productivity, having to constantly page through apps to find info is tedious and counter productive.

I have had to do emergency server and website maintenance on phones/tablets (don't ask) and existing solutions are weak at best. I have to have a fullscreen editor, then full screen ftp, then full screen browser, then fullscreen email...If I could have had the email in one window, and the editor in another, side by side, I could have easily worked on the issue, but always swapping between them made it a real pain....doable but a pain...especially from a park bench at the zoo.
 

pigster

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It used to be that all teachers needed was a chalk board, paper, pencil, and some books. That was enough to get people to the moon. All this electronic junk is just a distraction.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wray-herbert/ink-on-paper-some-notes-o_b_4681440.html

Is it possible that laptops somehow impair learning -- or conversely, that pen and paper convey some subtle advantage in the classroom? Two psychological scientists, Pam Mueller of Princeton and Daniel Oppenheimer of UCLA, wondered if laptops, despite their plusses, might lead to a shallower kind of cognitive processing, and to lower quality learning. They decided to test the old and the new in a head-to-head contest.......

The findings, which Mueller and Oppenheimer describe in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, were a bit surprising. Those who took notes in longhand, and were able to study, did significantly better than any of the other students in the experiment -- better even than the fleet typists who had basically transcribed the lectures.

Interesting!
 
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The fastest most efficient way to get knowledge is by reading. Nothing beats it. Nothing.

Sometimes if a subject is hopelessly boring, a video or some other more interactive approach might help keep your attention, but it will never give you the depth of knowledge that simple reading will.
 

heatlesssun

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The fastest most efficient way to get knowledge is by reading. Nothing beats it. Nothing.

Sometimes if a subject is hopelessly boring, a video or some other more interactive approach might help keep your attention, but it will never give you the depth of knowledge that simple reading will.

Tablets are great for reading purposes.
 

mope54

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the reason tablets aren't doing well the classroom is because teachers are by and large tech illiterate. the article states that learning is about creating rather than consuming content, which is dead wrong when talking about most classroom activities. there isn't any reason students can't be utilizing tablets in lieu of 1970's chemistry videos, crappy diagrams, and outdated textbooks--other than the teacher's inability to utilize 21st century tools. and whatever stranglehold publishers have on the districts. tablets pay for themselves after one semester compared to a slew of textbooks--provided the content is available.

neither of those issues has anything to do with tablets themselves
 

mi7chy

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Just common sense. iPad is just a dumbsumption device. Schools are wasting taxpayers' money and doing a disservice to students by not preparing them for the Windows dominated corporate world.

For productivity and creation:

Windows hybrid tablet with precision pen > Galaxy Note series > Android tablets > iPads
 

pcjunkie

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the reason tablets aren't doing well the classroom is because teachers are by and large tech illiterate. the article states that learning is about creating rather than consuming content, which is dead wrong when talking about most classroom activities. there isn't any reason students can't be utilizing tablets in lieu of 1970's chemistry videos, crappy diagrams, and outdated textbooks--other than the teacher's inability to utilize 21st century tools. and whatever stranglehold publishers have on the districts. tablets pay for themselves after one semester compared to a slew of textbooks--provided the content is available.

neither of those issues has anything to do with tablets themselves

That sounds really easy until you start looking at School budgets. Ever "not" be able to open a book and turn the page vs turning on a tablet when something broke? A lot of schools are utilizing technology the best they can wit the resources they have.
 

pigster

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there isn't any reason students can't be utilizing tablets in lieu of 1970's chemistry videos, crappy diagrams, and outdated textbooks--other than the teacher's inability to utilize 21st century tools.

So has the periodic table changed in this century? It's amazing that countries with no electronics aids and old textbooks consistently outscore the US in math and science, and the answer we always hear is more money.
 

sfsuphysics

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the reason tablets aren't doing well the classroom is because teachers are by and large tech illiterate. the article states that learning is about creating rather than consuming content, which is dead wrong when talking about most classroom activities. there isn't any reason students can't be utilizing tablets in lieu of 1970's chemistry videos, crappy diagrams, and outdated textbooks--other than the teacher's inability to utilize 21st century tools. and whatever stranglehold publishers have on the districts. tablets pay for themselves after one semester compared to a slew of textbooks--provided the content is available.

neither of those issues has anything to do with tablets themselves
Nah, "outdated" stuff is simply a knee jerk reaction as to why they students aren't using them. I tell my students use whatever book you want, a few have bought "digital rentals" the book, a few don't buy books at all "because fuck it I have wikipedia!", drawing a picture on a chalkboard or whiteboard is no different than drawing the same picture on a tablet and having it go to an overhead or directly to their device.
 

Ocean

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Because tablets are being used wrong.
Some proper ways to use a tablet:

Digital books.
Graphing functions
Handwritten note taking, with simultaneous chunk audio recording.
Photos of whiteboards.
 

xX326Xx

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The Surface Pro is trying to be a hybrid device, which is what it is. For a Windows device in its price range it probably sells as well as anything out there. People are always comparing the Surface to cheaper clamshell laptops and if that's all one needs that's fine. But the Surface does support pen and touch and as a digital inking device a clamshell laptop obviously doesn't support those capabilities.

Windows 8.1.1 is not bad and their making strides to be where they should have been 2+ years ago from feedback. The dual personality OS is what is killing Win8, people couldn't figure out if they were using an app or software. They behaved differently and people have issues dealing with the app environment in a desktop environment. Adding apps to taskbar and the close/minimize buttons is a good start, IMO it should be seamless to the user. The reason tablets are failing is the same reason Win8 is failing, and the same reason desktop PCs are far from dead.
 

heatlesssun

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Windows 8.1.1 is not bad and their making strides to be where they should have been 2+ years ago from feedback. The dual personality OS is what is killing Win8, people couldn't figure out if they were using an app or software. They behaved differently and people have issues dealing with the app environment in a desktop environment. Adding apps to taskbar and the close/minimize buttons is a good start, IMO it should be seamless to the user. The reason tablets are failing is the same reason Win8 is failing, and the same reason desktop PCs are far from dead.

I've said from day one the integration between the modern UI and desktop needed to improved along with more configuration options and while it definitely should have been like that from the beginning it's almost there now. 8.1 Update 1 I think is at the point where many of the issues are resolved for the average desktop user. I understand that many still won't be happy without the Start Menu, which should be coming back shortly, and that some hate the idea of modern apps on a desktop, but the learning curve even without the Start Menu is much lower than when 8.0 was initially released.

And while 8.x is still struggling in adoption rate, that rate does seem to have accelerated a bit with the end of support for XP and with the return of the Start Menu that's familiar, that should help out as well.
 

Reimu

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Tablet form factor can work, but it really shouldn't be in the hands of people that have no idea why they need the form factor. I actually love tablet for srs business, but that shouldn't be the norm since most people don't need to do productivity on go, nor do they need to manipulate documents and images at the fly as you would in SOHO field office situation.

I actually want a secondary screen with my tablet, since having a second display is a godsend from a productivity standpoint.
 

kirbyrj

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The fastest most efficient way to get knowledge is by reading. Nothing beats it. Nothing.

Sometimes if a subject is hopelessly boring, a video or some other more interactive approach might help keep your attention, but it will never give you the depth of knowledge that simple reading will.

That's not even remotely accurate. Studies have shown you remember most what you do, then what you see, then what you read, lastly what you hear.
 

Youn

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For memory retention, IME:

Listening < Reading < Typing < Hand-writing < Interpretive Dance
 
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I bring a tablet to my university classes every day, and its been super useful.

How do I use it?

As a multi-purpose e-book. Having all the books and info you require on some light device is a gift from the sky. No more heavy books!

Of course, for anything but reading its totally useless. Which isn't a surprise at all...
 

heatlesssun

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the reason tablets aren't doing well the classroom is because teachers are by and large tech illiterate. the article states that learning is about creating rather than consuming content, which is dead wrong when talking about most classroom activities.

I agree with the issue of technology literacy. And while the article was rather dismissive about content consumption in the classroom, I don't think the point was learning being all about content creation but rather sophisticated creation capability is critical to educational productivity:

Advertising professor and director of the above institute, Michael Hanley, called tablets out similarly to how I've done numerous times before: "Tablets are for entertainment purposes, not for writing papers and doing class projects -- key components of higher education".

He went on to say that, "Tablets are fine for reading material and accessing digital files, but for any type of coursework requiring sophisticated design, image manipulation or production, tablets fall far short. Of the 140 students in my classes this year, none used a tablet in class for academic purposes".

http://betanews.com/2014/05/18/why-tablets-are-failing-miserably-in-higher-education/

To your point of tech literacy. I think a lot of people jumped on the iPad and tablet bandwagon without understanding the limits of mobile OS tablets. More than one person has bought an iPad or Android tablet thinking that could ditch a laptop only to realize that that wasn't true after all. That's not to say that a mobile OS tablet can't be useful and obviously ones like the Galaxy Note series have digital pens that make them useful in ways that even a clamshell laptop isn't. But complex creation tasks simply aren't what they are for.
 

Parja

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better even than the fleet typists who had basically transcribed the lectures

Not surprising. To transcribe something, you basically have to turn your brain off to actually trying to comprehend what you're reading and focus on just recording it. That's where proper pen and paper note taking excels since you're interpreting what you're hearing/seeing and making note of the salient points. If they never made the attempt to go back and actually comprehend the material, I wouldn't be surprised if they scored among the worst.
 

DeathFromBelow

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I'm fine with tablets as replacements for books, but people need to get over the 'tablets are the future of PCs' nonsense.

If anything phones are the future of the PC, but its just a new and convienient form factor. You'll still be connecting them with a mouse, keyboard, and monitor to get real work done until we have some kind of superior brain-computer interface.
 
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