Unit 3:Media Players and Tablets
Media Players and Tablets
Although PC's have had a large presence in classrooms many years, other media devices are beginning to gain popularity, and, for some instances, can be considered preferable. One of main desirable traits is portability. Where desktop PC's require a student to remain in a single spot, media players can travel with you just about anywhere. Similarily, laptops are indeed portable, but can be bulky and difficult to stow easily. As tablets become more popular, they have also become more attractive as an education tool.
From a comprehension perspective, portable media players can ultimately be a savior for struggling readers,or those who simply can't stay interested.
Tablets and media players in the reading classroom can be shared; their use should always be considered an aid and incidental to the means to an end-in this case, comprehension. Because they are portable, tablets and mediaplayers allow the student to choose their reading environment, whether it is sitting at their desk, or in a comfy chair in the back of the room. They are also used at the discretion of the individual reader. The student can start and stop as they choose and return to previously read material as needed.
Some popular tablets and players for readers are:
One of the main benefits of technology in education is the ability to make learning easier and more fun. Where students once missed key reading opportunities because of a forgotten or deliberately left behind book, they can now access reading material on almost any portable platform available. Digital books can be easily downloaded to a tablet, iPod or other portable device from many different sites. Although sites like Amazon offer a huge selection of books to download, there is often a charge associated. Luckily you can also find many that do not, especially for classical literature.
Depending on the application, some digital books have assistive reading tools as well, such as the ability to highlight unfamiliar words, an interactive dictionary, or text-to-speech pronunciations.
One the largest issues with gaining comprehension in reading is the tendency to focus on decoding. While decoding is a considerable component of overall fluency, students often get fixated on "sounding out" words that are not familiar to them. Audible books are often a benefit when the focus is comprehension. The student is able to concentrate on the content of the work, following along with the reader. Students can use a plug-in headset to eliminate disruption and also follow along with a printed or digital book.
A potential downside to this technology is that there are very few sites that offer free audible books. Cost not withstanding, popular audiobooks sites include:
As with any technological aid that is also social in nature, students should always be monitored with media players and tablets in the classroom.