Having tablets in the classroom is a concept with growing popularity that teachers and students are realizing has an impact on learning. Due to their versatility and wide selection of applications, tablet devices are the all-in-one, ultimate tools for learning any subject. Adding tablets to the classroom environment is especially useful in our current generation of accessible knowledge and communication. Information online, resources, and different ways to learn interactively all become so much more accessible when students have a tablet at their desks.
Every tech company crafts their devices in unique ways, each flagship device differing from the other slightly. For example, Apple’s most recent iPad Pro is an ambitious attempt to replace laptops by boasting a sizable display and army of accessories. What makes the Nexus 7, and all Android tablets for that matter, so unique is their Google account integration. The entire tablet experience with Google Nexus is centered on using Google apps and your Google account. Gmail, Hangouts, Google Play, and Chrome are just some of the Google oriented applications you can expect to use when using a Nexus. This is useful for students because since almost all of their activities on the tablets use Google accounts, it is easy to pick up the work you left off on a tablet in class from a laptop at home. Simply log in to your Google account and you’re ready to go.
Hangouts – Screen sharing
Google’s communication platform includes many different ways for users to interact with one another. Hangouts chat rooms can be made between numerous users and within these chat rooms users can send instant messages, files, or video chat. The main feature of Hangouts that students should take advantage of is the screen sharing option where users can show a group their display and what they are doing on their device. Teachers can choose to share their slideshows or lesson material through this feature.
Screen capturing is taking a picture of what is currently on a device’s display. To do this, the volume down button must be held down at the same time as the power button. This will save an image of what is currently on the display to the device’s photo album. Taking pictures of what is on your screen is an easy, yet efficient way to save important notes and diagrams for future reference.
The multitasking button on the bottom right of the Nexus 7 allows users to quickly switch between applications. This allows for applications to run in the background while the user focuses on using a different application. Furthermore, when using this feature users can swipe an app to the side to easily close it. This ensures that battery is not being used up on an idle app.
Links from Nexus
Links from Users
- Typing down notes during a lecture is a common use for tablets. With their multitasking capabilities, it’s even possible for tablets to run a voice-recording app in the background so that students can go back, listen to the lecture again, and make sure they have written down every important point.
- Students can download textbooks to eliminate the hassle of carrying heavy bags. Also, students can use the screen capture function to take a chart from one of the pages. This image will be saved to the photo album and it can be added to typed-up notes for easy access.
- Using Hangouts screen sharing is useful when there is a large class and the teacher only has a computer accessible to them. Even with just a computer, teachers can share their slideshows and lessons over a chat room with the entire class.
- When using the screen sharing option on Hangouts, it can be useful to capture a slide or even a “chalkboard solution” if the teacher is using a Smartboard. A step-by-step tutorial of how to solve a problem on the Smartboart can be captured step by step by the students using both the Hangouts screen sharing and screen capturing features.