Marc Fanaroff, a special education administrator for more than 30 years, shares his advice on successfully deploying tablets in schools

-tablets-mobile-devicesAs schools start to mature in their use of technology, moving from the innovator phase into the early adopter stage, we’re getting increasingly wise about the necessary steps to achieve successful classroom implementation.

After my experience implementing tablets into our school, I thought I’d share my advice for a successful investment.

1. Outline your objectives.

The first step is to know from an instructional standpoint what your objectives for the investment are, and how you envision using the resource. This could have implications for the required functionality of the hardware device. While many tablets are designed for consumer use rather than classroom use, in general, a tablet is a tablet.

2. Identify effective learning technology.

Step two is to ensure the technology is effective in the learning environment. It should include appropriate, high-quality learning content. The learning content offered on some tablet devices often can be described as “edutainment” rather than high-quality, curriculum-aligned resources. The supplier of your chosen mobile device should be working with publishers to provide high-quality, curriculum-aligned content, pre-installed on the tablet device.

Research has indicated that the need to purchase, install, and manage new apps is cited by many schools as a significant barrier to adoption. However, tablets also should be easily networkable to allow you to use your pre-existing or purchased content. In summary, your classroom tablet solution must enhance, support, and simplify teaching and learning.

(Next page: Tablet tips 3-7)