In early April, the Apple iPad turned 12. In just over a decade, this device has taken over our lives in many ways. We use the iPad and its competitors to play games, watch movies, and even do work. Many stores have even replaced their traditional tills with tablets to take card payments, while some restaurants use them instead of menus.
But tablets also have a lot of value in education and may actually be the perfect companion for every learner, regardless of the subject they’re studying. Here’s why.
No More Heavy Textbooks
If you’ve been to college or university, you’ll know that carrying just a couple of textbooks can quickly turn into an entire workout. Of course, it depends on the size and number of papers, but a typical textbook can weigh anywhere between 1kg and 3kg. Throw a few of those into a rucksack and you’re suddenly carrying an additional 20-30% of your body weight.
Not only that, but textbooks can be incredibly expensive. Of course, your university’s library will probably have a stock of the publications you need, but you’ll have to be quick as they get checked out very quickly. In the UK, studies have found that the average student can spend as much as £1,070 ($1,412) on study materials.
When compared to these numbers, a tablet computer is much lighter and cheaper, protecting your wallet and your back.
Tablets Are Great for Quick References
When you’re learning about a new subject, you often have to refer back to your notes to jog your memory. Tablets can make this much easier since you don’t need to go through pages and pages of content, in search of something you scribbled down or highlighted. Instead, you can simply use the search function to find a particular keyword.
When learning a new game like poker, there are a lot of terms and steps you need to remember, including the value of hands and the different responsibilities of the dealer. For new players, trying to keep all of this in your head can be a little tricky, so a tablet with a guide to all these key points is a handy tool while getting started.
Access to More Up-to-Date Information
At most, textbooks get updated once a year. For some subjects, that’s sufficient, as the information we learn remains fairly constant. For example, historical events aren’t going to change unless a major new discovery completely changes our understanding.
However, in faster-moving subjects, such as blockchain, science and medicine, a textbook published a year ago could be out of date in many parts by the time it makes it to shelves.
Since tablets are connected to the internet, they can give learners easy access to the most recent publications in journals and news sites.
Textbooks are great for people that learn by reading but every human is different and we all have unique learning styles and preferences. Generally, this is categorized into three groups – visual learners, audio learners, and kinesthetic learners. In reality, few people are ever just one of these; instead, it’s more of a spectrum of preferences.
Tablets allow us to learn in all three ways by combining multimedia together and helping us to interact with the material. This way, we can increase our chances of truly understanding and remembering the topic we’re trying to learn.
Quizlet is a great example of this. The app helps its users to remember new vocabulary while learning a language by creating digital flashcards, serving up tests, and creating games out of the words and phrases.
The Perfect Companion
As we can see, tablets are an invaluable tool for learners that make it easier to access up-to-date material, remember more of it, and refer back to it afterwards. Not only that, but tablets are much lighter and much cheaper than more traditional learning materials like textbooks.