The talk of the electronic world over the last year or so has been the rise of the tablet computer. Characterised by pared-down simplicity and a deft ability to display text and graphics, tablets are said to be a great option for people who want a simple-to-use e-reader, media sharing platform, or portable games machine.
In addition to their entertainment capabilities, tablets are increasingly being billed as important learning tools for the future. In fact, some schools and universities are already embracing the benefits of tablet technology, with one school in Kent aiming to provide each of its pupils with the device at the start of this academic year.
For many of us, the idea of packing an iPad in a satchel may forever be a foreign concept, but for a generation of children brought up with digital technology, they could be a fine classroom complement to bring learning to life.
At the time of writing, the iPad is seen to be the most popular tablet platform, and is predicted to hold this position in the market for the next few years at least. Here we take a look at some of the learning apps available for it. In addition to a range of apps for young children designed to stimulate language and numeracy abilities through games – for example ABC Animals, or Math Bingo – there are also more specialised experiences for older learners.
Science: Chemists may well enjoy the popular The Elements: A Visual Exploration - which is said to bring the periodic table to life – while Pocket Heart aims to get under the skin of biology students, showing the workings of the organ. Other apps focus on bringing the universe to life, while if you need more in-depth research, there are e-readers for new articles published by scientific journals.
Literature: One of the main benefits of the tablet is said to be its ability to bring to life things that may usually be considered inaccessible. The Waste Land app is an example of this, with various readings of the famous TS Eliot poem – supported by notes, video commentaries and pictures. Similarly, Shakespeare in Bits: Romeo and Juliet is an interactive study guide which breaks the play down into digestible sections, and includes in depth character biographies and a translation feature which helps explain some of the more obscure words and phrases. There is also an animation of the play voiced by household names such as Michael Sheen and Kate Beckinsale.
History and geography: Another feature of the device is its ability to recreate a world more explicitly than a book can, an example being Virtual History – Roma, which recreates the capital of the Roman World, promising a “‘full immersion’ panoramic experience”. Meanwhile, History: Maps of the World helps provide a context to historical events with high-resolution maps from back in the day.
A tablet computer – whether an iPad or a Google Android-based device – could be a useful learning tool for your child, and could possibly help to broaden their learning experience. But with tablets typically costing from £400, it could be a good idea to do plenty of research in advance before deciding to buy, making sure you get the best price and package for you or your child’s needs. A convenient way to pay could be by credit card, especially if you’ve got a credit card that offers a 0% period on purchases or rewards your spending.
Issued by Sainsbury’s Finance
Sainsbury’s Finance is a trading name of Sainsbury’s Bank plc. All information correct at time of publication, but may be subject to change. Any views or opinions expressed in this article are the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any part of the Sainsbury’s Group of companies.
Sainsbury’s Finance is a financial services provider engaged in savings accounts and credit cards. It also supplies insurance services in car insurance, life insurance as well as being a provider of travel money services.
By shinychris | September 29th, 2011