From Toy to Tool: How to Develop Smart Tablet Habits in Class

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Flickr: Brad Flickinger

By Matt Levinson

As the explosive growth of tablets finds its way to schools, teachers and administrators need to continue the work of figuring out how to best incorporate tablets into the learning experience of students.

Managing tablets as learning tools in the classroom is not easy, especially when many kids use them largely as toys outside of school, if they have access to a tablet in their home environment. Kids often come to school and instinctively want to engage with a tablet as a toy, expecting to be free to play the games they want to play and explore the apps they are interested in.

To get kids to shift into tablet as learning tool, teachers are finding that instilling fair, reasonable and consistent classroom habits in tablet learning environments is key.

Here are a few strategies to employ to facilitate positive tablet learning habits:

  • Be clear with students at the outset of class whether tablets will be used that day. If tablets are not part of the learning plan for the day, just let students know that by saying, “We are device-free today, so please find a resting place for your tablet.”  This approach quickly takes the pressure off of the teacher.
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