Friday, 9 November 2012

Top Tech Trends in 2013: Tablets in Education SPECIAL

Tech trends in 2013: Tablets in Education
Tech trends in 2013: Tablets in Education

We’d love to reveal new exclusives on revolutionary advances in educational technology but tech developments are evolutionary. Sustainability is essential and, although tame in their appearance, some exciting announcements head up next year’s trends: 

Tablets in education 

When the word ‘tablet’ is uttered, most think of the sleekness of Apple or, dare I say, Microsoft, with their first attempt Surface, but hand-in-hand with these premium tablets comes a premium price tag. Yet, as market competition becomes more aggressive and demand for affordable devices gathers speed, price leadership strategies turn towards low cost. The surge in cheaper alternatives is expected next year with the likes of Amazon and the newly-released Kindle Fire HD paving the way. 

What does all this mean?   

  • With the iPad and iPad Mini, Microsoft Surface, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Note, ASUS Nexus and Motorola Zoom all retailing above £150, the financial burden for schools and tuition centres is still preventing many from embarking on digital first strategies. 2013 should see this burden lifted as Forbes speculates some devices will be available for as little as £30 before the 2013 year-end. 
  • Digital natives have grown up on a diet of new devices, apps, online gaming, YouTube, Facebook and wireless connectivity. Most are well acquainted with touchscreen technology and, as such, have certain expectations about the way they want to digest information. This ‘everyday technology’, from smartphones and tablets to on-the-go wireless connectivity is becoming a must-have and one that will become ever-present in our classrooms. 
  • Some of the most innovative software around is being developed for use solely on tablet devices and with the boom in the availability of educational apps; tablets could soon replace the need for desktops or laptops. Tablets also offer compatibility with online learning platforms, present in an increasing number of UK schools. 
  • Many UK and US companies have begun redirecting IT investments away from data centres to cloud-based services. And it seems schools, colleges and universities are following this route and why not? Schools need to deliver synchronised learning experiences and, with tablets and cloud-based systems, students can work anywhere and at any time, without the previous storage costs associated with data centres. 
  • With the cost lowered, tablets are set to become optimised by purpose, particularly in the education sector. Like having a separate subject for separate classes, students could have multiple devices each serving a different purpose - unlikely to be announced in 2013 but some educationalists have speculated that tablets will soon enough become a ‘VLE in your hand’ (literally), dedicated to educational learning. 
  • End of smartphones? We doubt it, but in underdeveloped societies without landlines or businesses that rely on international communication, many may well relinquish their smartphones completely and move directly to small tablets for services such as Skype, What’s App, etc.
2013 looks set to be an exciting year for digital learning, to find out more about LearnersCloud GCSE eLearning resources, visit us or start a free trial and see how GCSE revision videos can be used in your lesson plans.

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