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IT News Thread, Why tablets are failing miserably in higher education in Other News; Why tablets are failing miserably in higher education...
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    Why tablets are failing miserably in higher education


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    mjs_mjs's Avatar
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    I'ld like to add that i use my tablet for taking notes in lectures at uni. I'm a maths student and i use an android tablet, with a specific app for manipulation words and numbers using a language called LaTeX.

    I really disagree with
    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".
    Mainly because out of say 400 students on my course at least 5 or 6 of us use tablets for note taking. The hard core maths use Android, and thoes doing the odd module of maths on their finance course use ipads. One guy uses his android phone - which caused a lecturer to ask questions. Admittedly that's only around 1.5% of us, but that's for maths where we regularly use characters from 6 or more typefaces. I bet in more wordy based subjects they are more common - as are laptops in comp sci and business.

    The main thing I've found is that people simply don't know that the tablet/other devices they have are capable of doing. This includes lecturers and other staff at the uni - none of them know the name of the app myself and some others use, and you probably wouldn't find it unless you looked really hard. My tablet is no substitute to my desktop, and only a fool would think it is, but it is a substitute to reams of unorganized scrappy paper notes. I can produce sophisticated journal class articles with embedded images on my tablet, as can others. I would add a pdf to show what kind of material can be produced if knew how?

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    The following article is quite interesting too. Apparently tablets are very popular with older people, but less so with teens.

    Replacing the PC « Dustin Curtis

    More than 55% of teens and early young adults report being “cell-mostly” internet users–meaning they primarily use the internet on their phone instead of a computer or tablet–compared to only 15% of older adults. Young people are growing up on the mobile phone as their primary computing device, which has fundamentally changed the way they use and think about the internet. Tablets are simply unnecessary for them, because the mobile phone doesn’t offer a degraded internet experience, like it does for adults: it is the internet experience.

    I suspect this behavior will continue as these young people grow up, and that the trend will become even more striking.
    If you want to predict the future, just look at what middle-class American teens are doing. And right now, they're using their mobile phones for everything. In fact, many of them don't even have private computers. These facts, combined with the factors above, paint a picture of the tablet as a fad, like the Netbook, and as a temporary sidestep on a radical change in the way people use the internet. In the future, we'll all simply use our mobile phones for everything.

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    mjs_mjs's Avatar
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    Here's a bit of my first year work minus some personal details. Made completely from my asus tablet.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Got to say I agree with the premise that Tablets are generally consumer devices aimed for output rather than dev tools/ serious academic devices used for any kind of authoring. The ergonomics of the device dictate it's uses. Of course there will be some who insist that it can be used in such a way. You CAN off-road in fiat 500, knock nails in with hammer and go to work in Bermuda shorts, flippers and a snorkel, doesn't mean it's the right tool for the job though.

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    What else would you knock nails in with @GeekyPete? Don't do DIY would be my advice

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    The following article is quite interesting too. Apparently tablets are very popular with older people, but less so with teens.
    My 77 year old mother has just purchased an iPad. She wanted to "be able to email and google" but she didn't want a computer. This seemed to be the way to go. She loves the camera and google, finds email confusing and phones me up to say she is stuck. A couple of days ago she said there were bus times tables on it and she wanted to get rid of them. "Where are you seeing them", I asked. "I can't remember", she said, and I can't just pop in and help her as she lives in Australia. She has signed up for some iPad for beginners classes, which will help her (and me!). The most frustrating question she asks is "What do I do now?". "What do you want to do?", I asked. "Dunno" comes the reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs_mjs View Post
    Here's a bit of my first year work minus some personal details. Made completely from my asus tablet.
    I struggle to see tablets as good for creating content but that is very impressive evidence against that view.

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    I think realistically the only tablet you could consider to be powerful enough for work production, video/image editing etc... would have to be a Microsoft Surface Pro, I had one and found the Stylus pen to be of great value especially combine with Office 2013 and OneNote. I was also finding myself using my Bluetooth keyboard more so when typing and the fact it has a USB port made it all that easier to transfer documents over to USB pen drives etc...
    But as we all know the Microsoft Surface is a very compact computer essentially with a touch screen, but I think for this kind of coursework and work production that would be the only tablet that could possibly work for students. But then why buy one of those for double the price of a standard laptop which probably has a lot more capability hardware wise anyway. I can see where they are coming from!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs_mjs View Post
    Here's a bit of my first year work minus some personal details. Made completely from my asus tablet.
    That is impressive - I am a maths student as well. Is this speedy to use then? I only ever use the equation editor in Word for typing up assignments, but I don't think I could use it as a note taker really.

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    I know tablets are best for consumption but why not add a BT keyboard and suddenly you can type on them? For annotating and note taking they are brilliant. He seems to miss the point about looking at the same slide stack as is being projected in front of them, the student can annotate directly on the slides, add links, reminders, highlight, etc.

    It is the extra, out of class features, that I would say would help most, collaboration, research, helpful apps.

    Moving on from that what about the possibilities for different teaching methods, he is only thinking about sitting in a lecture, passively taking in data. Why should these big lectures be more interactive?

    Seems he has a closed view on tablets and so he can't see possibilities just problems.

    EDIT: & as the top comment on the article says, it does seem like a covert Surface ad.
    Last edited by TechMonkey; 20th May 2014 at 09:30 AM.

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    I can type on my iPad almost as fast i can on a normal keyboard, so note taking of them is very easy, and an even more productive device now Office for iPad is available. The iPad has only been around 4 years with others following shortly after so Tablets are still maturing. I would still take a Macbook Air instead though. Longer battery life, bigger screen, faster, more flexible, and not that much bigger/heaver , the 11" air is only 400g heavier than iPad Air.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    I can type on my iPad almost as fast i can on a normal keyboard, so note taking of them is very easy, and an even more productive device now Office for iPad is available. The iPad has only been around 4 years with others following shortly after so Tablets are still maturing. I would still take a Macbook Air instead though. Longer battery life, bigger screen, faster, more flexible, and not that much bigger/heaver , the 11" air is only 400g heavier than iPad Air.



    But how fast is that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by abillybob View Post
    I think realistically the only tablet you could consider to be powerful enough for work production, video/image editing etc... would have to be a Microsoft Surface Pro, I had one and found the Stylus pen to be of great value especially combine with Office 2013 and OneNote. I was also finding myself using my Bluetooth keyboard more so when typing and the fact it has a USB port made it all that easier to transfer documents over to USB pen drives etc...
    But as we all know the Microsoft Surface is a very compact computer essentially with a touch screen, but I think for this kind of coursework and work production that would be the only tablet that could possibly work for students. But then why buy one of those for double the price of a standard laptop which probably has a lot more capability hardware wise anyway. I can see where they are coming from!
    I see what you're saying but I do kind of think you're trying to apply your own usage patterns on other people here. What you say may be true for you but it clearly isn't for others. To use the example of an iPad, you can edit videos on it using iMovie, edit Office documents on it using the Office suite and edit images using any number of image editing packages. None of these are likely to be as powerful as a desktop package but at the same time they may be good enough for a large number of people. If a tablet (not necessarily an iPad) is good enough for the job that they want to do, why look elsewhere?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norphy View Post
    I see what you're saying but I do kind of think you're trying to apply your own usage patterns on other people here. What you say may be true for you but it clearly isn't for others. To use the example of an iPad, you can edit videos on it using iMovie, edit Office documents on it using the Office suite and edit images using any number of image editing packages. None of these are likely to be as powerful as a desktop package but at the same time they may be good enough for a large number of people. If a tablet (not necessarily an iPad) is good enough for the job that they want to do, why look elsewhere?
    An iPad isn't a computer replacement I suppose is what I'm trying to say. If the students in question (which is what I'm talking about) are only willing to buy a laptop because it a lot easier to do image editing (not impossible) but easier than doing it on an iPad or tablet device then there is no question about it the Surface is the best laptop/tablet hybrid. You also need to look at the stylus as this took a huge part when deciding what I was going to buy hence the reason I also have a Note 3. It's very hard to edit images professionally without a way to use something like Microsofts Ink pen, your finger just isn't going to cut it.

    Then you have to weigh up the issue where when saving to an iPad is how you get the work off, some apps could and do limit you to how you can share that content and normally it's about emailing it yourself or putting it into your Dropbox, what if your university blocks access to Dropbox and Gmail... then what, make a hotmail start again etc... it's a stupid waste of time and too much faffing imo. After coming out of college only 2 years ago I know from my own experience they just aren't practical (and I was studying IT) I eventually sold it after 5 months of having an iPad and got the Surface which much better suited my needs. Simple things like being able to plug a usb device into it made a huge difference in your productivity. You can't argue that fact.

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