‘Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt tested an interactive, digital version of an Algebra 1 textbook for Apple’s iPad in California’s Riverside Unified School District. Students who used the iPad version scored 20 percent higher on standardized tests versus students who learned with traditional textbooks.
The program, which replaced worn textbooks with interactive, digital versions with video, graphics and built-in quizzes that invited students to participate and give instant feedback, spurred positive comments that students using the iPad version were “more motivated, attentive, and engaged” than those with the paper algebra books.
This pilot program reveals when it comes to engaging today’s students, it’s not the content that matters, but the format. Students in the California experiment accessed the same content on the iPad as in a traditional book, but those who used the digital version tested higher.’ But … they go on to say… is the effect as lasting? Some believe not.
Taken from…. The Future of Education: Tablets vs. Textbooks http://mashable.com/2012/10/05/tablets-vs-textbooks/
They also say…. ‘ Students with special learning needs may offer the most concrete evidence of the benefits of tablets in the classroom. Advocates, desperate to bridge the educational gaps in children with learning issues, are ahead of traditional educational leaders, since children with special learning needs used tablets and apps early on.’
Evidence coming in thick and fast to support tablets in the classroom.
There are so many tools that are free to use on the Web that you could utilise a good range of these to deliver an eLearning or blended learning programme without the use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Blogs, Wikis, Voice Thread, Google Docs, FaceBook Groups, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. are all used by forward thinking eLearning Tutors and Lecturers who don’t want to be confined by the VLE provided by their organisation.
Of course, combining these free tools to deliver learning over the web is not without its challenges. One significant challenge is that of the level of personal organisation required to manage a range of tools found in a number of different places on the Web. Working with course students in Moodle, for example, enables all the instructions, discussions, activities, resources and submissions to be found in one place. As long as you are happy to work within the confines of one environment and accept the restrictions then this is a good solution for many people and organisations.
Sometimes eTutors choose to allow learners to make use of preferred online tools during certain activities e.g. collaborative assignments. Sometimes eTutors may feel that there is something that is more fit-for-purpose outside the VLE and draw on free tools to promote an aspect of learning within the course. This can be seen as good practice and can help to motivate and engage students and embed learning.
This week I have been searching for free online survey tools, of which there are many. These can be used for formative assessment, surveying opinions, feedback and evaluation etc. They can capture one piece of information or many pieces and can range from informal to formal. Of course you need skills to develop surveys and questionnaires in practice but if you have these, or you want to practice, the tools are freely available. You can invite people to complete your survey by email or through a link in a website.
Why not check out some of these:
"Ruth has worked as a consultant on many, diverse and challenging projects. She has always delivered to the highest standards of work and is totally reliable and consistent. If Ruth is in charge of doing a job then you can be confident that it will be produced on time and will meet the highest of expectations."
Dilloway & Goldman Associates