Because computer technologies and the Internet are changing our world at an ever-increasing pace.
Bill Rankin, former Professor at Christian Abilene University (Texas, USA) summarizes these changes:
Because in a computerized and globalized world, we need other skills than were needed in the industrial age – 21st century skills as Harvard professor Tony Wagner puts it:
Because our schools have their roots in the Enlightenment and the Industrial Age and are still marked by it. Sir Ken Robinson illustrates why these school concepts no longer fit into our time:
Because independent and self-directed project-based learning prepares learners to meet the requirements of the 21st century.
Because other ways of learning are possible, as Sugata Mitra showed in his Hole in the Wall project.
Tablet computers are neither laptops without keyboards, nor are they just bigger mobile phones. They are an entirely new type of computer whose quality has to be seen to be appreciated. They are intuitive and ready to use out of the box, have a long battery life, can be taken anywhere, and with the help of extensions, they are extremely flexible in use.
They help promote problem-oriented and explorative learning. They are powerful tools with the help of which learners engage with themes, explore, investigate, create something (video, photo, audio, text) and document, and share the results.
Our experience at a primary school in Karlsruhe (Germany) shows exactly this, namely that even first graders work with tablets and confidently present their work results.
Tablets not only allow explorative and collaborative learning, but virtually entice learners to learn. This not only changes the learning and teaching experience, but also roles in the classroom:
- Students become producers (Learners as Designers by Jonassen)
- Teachers become learning companions and coaches
- Learning becomes individualized and also offers weaker students new perspectives
- Collaborative learning is encouraged through project work
- Media and information literacy is acquired
- Technologies become a natural part of teaching, at the same time they take on a "serving" function and are no longer in the center
The most important component of tablet-aided learning is a sound pedagogical concept. Tablets must be used appropriately. First, the concept, then the tool. Or to use the words of Tony Bates "Good teaching may overcome a poor choice in technology, but technology will never save bad teaching."