Android Tablets are becoming increasingly popular as personal gadgets, but are still far from becoming a customary part of most people’s work environment. Still, a lot of e-learning and m-learning platforms have already made their way to tablets, as the combination of the screen size, increased mobility and computing power make them ideal devices for accessing training and educational content.
One question that hasn’t yet been conclusively answered is the following: Do android tablets bring any value to classroom training? To answer this question, we first have to define what the value we are looking for is. We can no doubt use tablets for almost any task in a classroom setting, such as having participants draw on them or we can even have participants use them as name tags. That might be fun, or at least different, but it probably brings no value to training. Their value can come from two directions: They help us get the same results at lower costs or they help us improve the outcome of training, by enhancing the learning experience.
Their recent popularity has had a significant impact on lowering their prices, while their multimedia capabilities could prove useful in a classroom environment. With this two criteria in mind, we can define four ways in which tablets can be used in classroom training.
1. Textbooks and Presentations
Using tablets as a platform for your textbooks or presentations can prove cheaper in the long run, especially when there is a great volume of information. You can save the time you would normally spend printing the handouts and the paper you would print on. A tablet could make it easier for participants to add bookmarks or highlight important information. It can also help them keep track of their training material and avoid its misplacement.
2. Training Games
There are literally hundreds of thousands of games that you can download on tablets, and some of them can be used to add a twist to training. There are applications that help you create personalized puzzles, which can help make good points for team building and management activities, mind games or even the classic arcade games, if you are looking to make a point regarding certain skills or skill acquisition.
3. Online Quizzes
There are several ways you can use your tablet as a platform for tests an quizzes, ranging form dedicated apps to using the tablet’s web browser for accessing online evaluation platforms. You can grade them faster than if they were on paper and this can also help you save the time you spent afterwards adding the results to a file or a database.
4. Movies and Clips
Watching movies on a projector screen can be fun but might at times be ineffective, if the room is too big or too bright. Tablets offer the alternative to have people watching the same clip at the same time, or, why not, different clips at the same time. This last solution could come in useful if you are using movies to make a point in an exercise where there are more teams involved.
The use of tablets as classroom training accessories is likely to become increasingly popular, so you might want to consider if you want to get some or if you want to trade your more expensive computers in for tablets that cost less, take less space and provide cheaper software solutions.