A key concern many schools have about using tablets in a classroom environment, is that the ‘new technology’ will create a distraction, with pupils visiting social media sites or playing games etc during lessons, and as a result make it difficult for teachers to keep pupils ‘on task’.
As a teacher, and user of the newly introduced technology, you want to be confident that your pupils’ engagement and interaction is increased not reduced, and that you have the ability to always be in control of the new ‘networked learning environment’ that has been created.
Classroom management software can be a useful tool to alleviate these concerns and gain control (where needed) of tablets in a classroom environment.
So what can Classroom Management Software do?
There are a number of Classroom Management solutions available which will all offer a combination of functionality, such as:
- Lesson preparation – allow teachers to prepare lessons with lesson creation tools.
- Classroom Management – monitor pupils’ use of tablets in real-time (i.e. see what they see), control web and social media access, control pupils’ screens and internet access, enable/disable apps, control what is printed.
- Pupil Motivation – interact with individuals to help keep them engaged and on task.
- Demonstration – share and broadcast the teachers’ or a pupils’ own screen with the whole class,
- Individual Support – allows 1 to 1 interaction with individual pupils, privately and remotely assist an individual pupils activities,
- Collaboration – organise students into groups, help them collaborate, assign different tasks to groups, teachers can join groups.
- Communication – send and collect content/files, send and collect assignments. These communication channels promote teacher and student to discussion
- Real-time Assessments – The ability to question the class in real-time, using the pupil voting and polling tools or question and answer sessions.
Which system is right for your school?
As with all software, it is important to find the right solution for the schools needs. I would consider the following:
- Consider whether you require a more presentation-based system, which enables collaboration, file sharing and screen sharing or a more device monitor and control based system which gives you more pupil or pupil’s devices.
- If you intend to have a BYOD policy or envisage using different device types in the school, make sure your software solution is compatible with all device types.
- If you think you require a solution for the entire school, some systems allow the schools’ tablets to be monitored and managed over the school’s wireless network by the IT department. This can give teachers the ability to get real-time technical support in-class and give schools the ability to monitor all of the devices on campus from one location.
- Consider the extra demand on the school wireless network
You can learn more on educational platforms in our ICT for Tablets in Education section, the video below is an example of an Education management system delivered by Samsung.