Support for integrating tablets into learning increased rapidly in 2013. Government departments eagerly commissioned research, ran trials, and pledged to have tablets in schools as soon as possible. In most cases, tablets were part of a wider project of integrating technology into the classroom. Also, on a more general note, a new report from Gartner forecasts that the worldwide tablet market (outside of North America) will grow 38.6 percent in 2014. This will definitely have an impact on the educational market and uptake of tablets in schools.
One of the objectives of our Stage 3 research was to summarise the global picture of the use of educational tablets. Overall, it was found that spending on IT in education was increasing globally, with the majority of this spending going toward tablet schemes. Read about a few of these global initiatives below.
Queensland: As part of the Smart Classrooms Strategy 2011-2014, the Department of Education and Training conducted iPad trials in 2010-2011 at two high schools. In June 2013, Acer won a bid to supply secondary schools in Queensland with 14,000 Tablets.
New South Wales: New South Wales Higher School and Shore School (both in Sydney) began tablet trials in the 2010-2011 academic year.
Victoria: The school system provided 700 tablets to ten schools. This included carrying out a research programme to monitor usage. Read more about the trial here.
In 2013, the educational tablet market increased by 103%, and tablets are being used by 43% of teachers and students in the US. However, to address the fact that 80% of schools lack infrastructure to support digital learning, President Obama announced the ‘ConnectED program’, which aims to provide broadband for 99% of schools.
The following states ran tablet schemes:
Virginia: In 2009, the Virginia Department of Education launched a pilot project as part of a wider initiative looking at mobile technology in teaching. You can read about phase one of the project here.To address the fact that 80% of schools lack infrastructure to support digital learning, President Obama announced the ‘ConnectED program’, which aims to provide broadband for 99% of schools.
Maine: The state recently introduced nearly 40,000 iPads to teachers and students.
North Carolina: Aakash 2 will be supplied to 2,000 schoolchildren. One hundred devices were successfully trialled at a summer school for disadvantaged children.
The district of Correze started a trial in December 2010, distributing 3,300 tablets to students. For more information about tablet initiatives in France, read this report (information about the Correze project can be found on pages 11-12).
As of late 2013, approximately 15,000 Tablets are currently being trialed around the country.
- The Tablets for Schools initiative aims to help UK schools implement tablets by commissioning independent research, and providing impartial advice.
- The UK government has declared 2014 to be the Year of Code – with activities and initiatives planned throughout the year. This will culminate in September 2014, with changes to the UK curriculum that make computing mandatory in all state schools.
Turkey’s FATIH project (“Movement to Increase Opportunities and Technology”) is one of the more ambitious attempts to integrate computer technology into the public education system. As part of the TL3bn (£337m) investment, 17 million tablets will be distributed to the entire public education system (42,000 schools) by 2015.
FATIH was launched in February 2012 with a trial of 12,800 tablets in 52 school, spanning 17 provinces. In July 2013, eleven companies bid for a contract to supply over 10 million tablets for primary school children for the main phase. The Ministry of Education is also planning a research and development facility. Read more here.
In June 2010, the Ministry of Education launched the Standard ICT Operating Environment (SSOE) project, which aims to “redefine the pedagogical approach in the education system” by focussing on school ICT infrastructure. The transition phase was completed in 2012, and 120,000 devices were rolled out to 351 schools. These devices included desktop and notebook computers. Read more about SSOE here.
In November 2012, the government launched the Digital Education Full Coverage Project to fund digital devices in schools. Multiple city governments have announced plans to purchase tablets and Digital China will be distributing tablets for many of these projects.
In June 2012, the South Korean Ministry of Education announced that it would replace all textbooks and paper with tablets by 2015. The initiative is part of a wider programme which includes increasing the number of online classes, and delivering the curriculum through the cloud. The project is expected to cost W64 trillion (approximately £1bn). Read more about the announcement here.
In 2011, the government of Kazakhstan announced that it will provide 83,000 tablets for schools by 2020. The intention is to use tablets alongside traditional learning methods, rather than replace textbooks.The Ministry of Education has doubled investment in education, and set goals to involve 90% of schools in e-learning programmes by 2020.
Kazakhstan’s tablet initiative fits into their wider “electronic learning programme”, which aims to improve the quality of education, resolve the lack of teachers in remote and rural villages, and widen access to education. Read more about it here.
In February 2014, the Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining announced that their current tablet project will be extended beyond primary and high schools through to basic schools. More than 400,000 students will get tablets for free (with part payment required from parents in the future). It is expected that the project will be fully in place by the beginning of the upcoming school year.
In 2012, it was announced that the Aakash (“the world’s cheapest tablet”) would be introduced to Indian schools. The aim is to provide millions of students with access to the tablet, manufactured by Datawind. Read more here.
By March 2013, 100,000 Aakash devices were being used in schools, and the order for the third generation of Aakash tablets is expected to be for around 5 million devices.
Other brands of ultra-cheap tablets are also being rolled out in the following states:
Andhra Pradesh: In March 2012, it was announced that 50,000 iSlates (developed in Singapore) will be used over the next three years by students aged 10-13 years in a district of Andhra Pradesh. The devices use solar power and cost about GBP£30 each.
Rajasthan: In 2013, Amtrak launched tablets to complement the government’s provision of “tablet” funding to 35,819 government schools. The tablets will be given to 350,000 students who have made the merit list. Read more here.
Chennai: In July 2014, Microsoft India announced that four schools in Chennai had adopted Windows tablets. The schools also announced the setting up of SOLE (Self Organised Learning Environment Labs) to enable students to learn in collaborative work groups in order to leverage the power of the tablets .
A project in Portugal for 7th graders (12-13 year olds) went on for a year and ended in June. They are now looking to implement tablets on a larger scale.
Tablets have been introduced to 50 primary schools in the Limpopo Province by the Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy. The institute also expects to roll out tablets to 30,000 students in 250 schools across the country.
The federal government will purchase 900,000 Tablets for more than 58,000 schools.
The state government of São Paolo announced in spring 2013 that it was considering a $2.73 billion project which includes tablet roll-out and content provision.
In February 2014, Colombia’s ICT ministry announced that it would distribute 335,600 tablets to public schools. The ministry has invested over GBP£300,000 in the equipment. Computel System, the CPE 04-13 consortium and the Sinergia Soluciones consortium will each deliver around 111,000 tablets.
Over 23,000 tablets will be supplied to students in both private and public secondary schools during 2013/14.
In March 2014, it was announced that grades 7-12 students in Peru Community Schools will get 1100 Microsoft Surface Pro Hybrid tablets, at a total cost of about £360,000. The devices will be available in the next school year. Students will not be allowed to take the tablets home. Approximately £103,0000 will be spent over the next three years as part of a wider tech initiative to bring tablets to students and teachers.
In 2010, the government launched the Future Schools project, with the aim of introducing tablets to all schoolchildren. The scheme was introduced to primary schools between 2010 and 2012, and in special support schools and junior high schools between 2011 and 2013.
The government supplied 1.8 million children with tablets in 2012 (the largest tablet contract in the world). In its first year, tablets were provided to all first graders.
- Under a separate project run by the One Tablet per Child organisation, 1.22 million Tablets will be supplied to students across three Thai regions.