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Tablet computers 'used by 70% of schools'

03/12/2014 Kelly
Tablet computers are now used by nearly 70 per cent of primary and secondary schools in the UK, new research has revealed.

Education technology charity Tablets for Schools studied 671 state and independent institutions, and found the devices are currently being used in 68 per cent of primary and 69 per cent of secondary schools, the BBC reports.

Tablet use was found to be particularly widespread in academies, while they are used less frequently in independent schools or other types of state schools.

The technology's popularity is likely to continue to rise, the study found. Some 45 per cent of institutions not currently using the devices said they would like to introduce them.

Between 2014 and 2016, the number of tablet computers in schools is predicted to increase from about 430,000 to almost 900,000.

In nine per cent of the institutions studied by Tablets for Schools, every pupil had an individual device.

However, the researchers did not find evidence of a definitive connection between tablet computers and improved results. 

Dr Barbie Clarke of the Family, Kids and Youth research group, who headed the study, said it was not possible to isolate the impact of technology as the specific cause of a rise in attainment.

Nevertheless, headteachers reported a positive impact and Dr Clarke said the role of technology is going to grow in schools.

"The type of device might change, but it's not going to go away. It will almost seem ridiculous if some of them are not using technology," she said.

In addition, there is evidence that the devices help to motivate pupils who would otherwise be disengaged. They can also boost family involvement in youngsters' learning.

Simon Mason, head of Honywood Community School in Essex, is a strong advocate of tablet computers in schools.

He said they create a "sense of empowerment" for young people and create an ethos in which pupils can feel "trusted and valued".

Posted by Tim ColmanADNFCR-2164-ID-801764014-ADNFCR
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