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Report
Tablets in
Education –
Possibilities and
Challenges
Torbjørn Helland Solhaug
[email protected]
Twitter: @solhell
Background
• Use of tablets increases in primary
education
• Some schools are funding tablets
• Some schools are allowing use of
private tablets
Objective
• Capabilities on different platforms
• How tablets are used
• Accessibility status on popular app’s for
education
• Implications for children with disabilities
It’s About Children
• Not fully developed
visual, motoric or
cognitive skills
Key Features
• Multi-touch increases association
between user action and tablet
reaction
Key Features
• Multi-touch increases association
between user action and tablet
reaction
• Range of available apps is
staggering on all major platforms
“Apple recently
announced that
the App Store
application
count had
grown beyond
700,000 live
apps…”
Some of the Features Needed
•
•
•
•
•
One finger operation
Zoom the entire interface
Screen reader
Adjust on-screen keyboard content
High contrast/invert colors
Challenges
• Wide range of gestures
– hard to remember
• Complex gestures
– hard to understand and perform
• Activating aids changes multi-touch
gestures to perform actions
– more gestures to remember
It’s More Than…
Even More Than…
Platform Capabilities
Evaluated Platforms
• iOS
• Android
• Windows RT
Platform Comparison – Screen Reader
iOS
Android
Windows RT
- Good voice quality
- Desktop-like
functionality
- Poor voice quality
- Poor functionality
- Good voice quality
- Desktop-like
functionality
- No Norwegian Voice
- Strange activation
Alternative
- No alternative found
Alternative
- SVOX with separate
Norwegian voice
Alternative
- Beta version of NVDA
Platform Comparison – Magnification
iOS
Android
Windows RT
- Easy to activate
- Decent content
quality
- Demanding to
operate
- No preinstalled
- Strange activation
- Poor content quality
- Easy to operate
Alternative
- No alternative found
Alternative
- No alternative found
Alternative
- No alternative found
Platform Comparison – Text Enlargement
iOS
Android
Windows RT
- Good range of
enlargements
- Doesn’t affect
everything, even
inside the OS
- Small enlargements
- Small enlargements
- Doesn’t affect
everything, even
inside the OS
- Affects most
elements
Platform Comparison – High Contrast
iOS
Android
Windows RT
- Pure invertion
- Works everywhere
- No preinstalled
- No alternative found
- Structured color
changes
- Depends on correct
setup of elements
Platform Conclusion
•
•
•
•
Issues with all platforms
Android falls short
iOS and Windows RT neck-and-neck
Select platform based on
functionality needed
Usage
Some of the Possibilities
• Alternative pedagogics
• Distributing lessons and tasks
• Tablets as assistive technology (AT)
• Common in special education
Subjects
• Primarily reading and math
• Creative teachers use it for all subjects
• Common in special education
Tablets as AT
•
•
•
•
Enlarge textbook content and similar
Watch movie shown on movie screen
Have content read to you
Communicating with images or
written text
Challenges
• Wide range and huge number of apps
• Hard to find apps that works for
entire class
• Limited number of Norwegian apps
• Teacher competence
• Teacher time and commitment
• Learning platforms not compatible
with tablets
Apps
Checklist
• From guidelines for accessible
mobile interfaces
• From Funka’s accessibility audit
• 15 checks performed on 13 apps
Frequent Issues
•
•
•
•
•
Instructions are limited or nonexistent
Screen reader receives no or limited input
Poor contrast
Small clickable areas
Confusing interfaces
Some Quotes
“My son practices
numbers,
communication,
language and more.
Great tool! “
“More methods for learning“
“School can’t afford to
buy tablets“
“Great tool, very
motivating“
“Works fast and
catches attention “
“My children don’t use tablets due to
lack of competence at the school“
Conclusion
• Beneficial for pupils in general
• Great as assistive technology
• Requires competence, time and
commitment
• Pupils with impairments often
needs a dedicated tablet
References
•
Reports (in Norwegian):
https://www.blindeforbundet.no/internett/nyheter/fokus-pa-nettbrett-i-grunnskolen
•
"Tilgjengelige mobilgrensesnitt" et prosjekt gjennomført av Funka Nu AB. 2011
www.funkanu.se/no/Funka-tilbyr/Analyser/Gransking-av-mobile-grensesnitt/
•
"Surfplattor – en utvärdering av teknik og användbarhet" av Usify på oppdrag av PTS. 2011
http://libris.kb.se/bib/12427312
•
"iPad og svaksynte – hvordan bruke iPad i skolen". Heftet er utviklet som et ledd i
samarbeidet mellom Tambartun Kompetansesenter og NAV Hjelpemiddelsentral SørTrøndelag. 2012
www.statped.no/Tema/Syn/Publikasjoner/iPad-og-svaksynte---hvordan-bruke-iPad-i-skolen/
•
“iPad i skolen“. Blogg av Jan Gamre om bruk av iPad i undervisning.
http://jangamre.wordpress.com/
•
“IKT og skole, prosjekt nettbrett“. Blogg om prosjekt der en hel klasse og deres lærere har
blitt utstyrt med hvert sitt nettbrett
http://www.iktogskole.no/?page_id=1609)
There is no such thing
as an average user

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