Touchscreens meet Androids in the Classroom …

Learning has got really exciting bringing the thrill of gaming and fully interactive devices into the classroom with cloud type access to on-line learning and a myriad of teaching apps using latest Android technology for touchscreens and low cost tablets

At one end of the spectrum wall mounted LCD Touchscreens are the tough and robust low cost alternative to an interactive whiteboard. An LCD touchscreen has all the features and working area of a whiteboard and a lot more, but without the disadvantages of projector glare, high purchase and running costs, lighting reflection or needing blinds to be closed

Touchscreens are simple, intuitive and accurate to use by teacher and pupils, the familiar touch response so common to users on mobile phones gives users the confidence to be at the front of the room showing off their work.

The touchscreen surface is made from 4mm to 5mm toughened glass and is almost indestructible needing only an occasional wipe to remove finger marks. Gone are the days of having to clean projector filters, replacing very expensive failed lamps, with downtime in the boardroom or classroom.

With one of the mini android pcs that are now available, which is only the size of a USB memory stick you can turn your LCD touchscreen into a fully working PC with the added advantage of using either Android or Ubuntu operating system. Just connect an LCD Touchscreen to a mini Android PC and navigate your media with a WiFi mouse and keyboard. Access cloud apps and documents, play games, surf the web, and view photos and HD video.

Since the Android PCs support Wi-Fi Direct this lets you connect directly to nearby peer devices over Wi-Fi, for more reliable, higher-speed communication. No internet connection or tethering is needed. Through third-party apps, you can connect to compatible devices to take advantage of new features such as instant sharing of files, photos, or other media; streaming video or audio from another device; or connecting to compatible printers or other devices direct from the touchscreen.

This WiFi connection also enable you to connect the touchscreen to your VLE system such as Moodle so that online lessons can be displayed in full interactive mode and files can be accessed online or on the network server

At the other end of the spectrum Android Tablets are the hand held version of the wall mounted touchscreen which are lower cost than iPads or case mounted PCs, easy and convenient to use with a host of accessories such as keyboards and mice and thousands of apps for the classroom that make old PCs redundant and are a superb low cost replacement for PCs

Add Android tablets to the WiFi network and you now have a fully interactive classroom with each pupil able to interact, communicate and really enjoy the learning experience. The Android tablet brings the touchscreen to the pupil and with a VLE is able to work at their own pace if the teacher wants, complete assignments or quizes on-line, interact with other class members through chat, blogs and forums and complete projects collaboratively using the workshop and wiki facilities of the VLE. Learning need not finish in the classroom as the VLE is available on-line at home too !


Author : David Edis-Bates

Android Tablets for the Classroom




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