Pros & Cons of Tablet Learning for Preservice Teachers

What is Preservice Teaching?

    Preservice teaching is the process by which a college student aspiring to be a teacher gains experience leading a classroom while being mentored and guided by a professional teacher.  At first, the college student solely observes classroom routines. Over time, the college student is given more responsibilities until he/she feels competent in classroom management and instruction (Virginia Wesleyan University Handbook, n.d.).

As technologies have evolved, teachers have been able to add more and more advanced technologies to their teaching toolbox.  In preservice teaching, it is important that college students get comfortable using these teaching technologies and understand the ways in which these technologies can help in their educational careers.  Teachers can easily distribute digital resources to students via tablets. Researchers Pegrum, Howitt, and Striepe (2013) conducted semi-structured interviews and focus groups with preservice teachers to determine the ways in which iPads helped and did not help in their preservice teaching experiences.


Pros of Tablet Learning

  1. Provides a means to record and reinforce information presented in preservice teaching.

  • Preservice teachers are able to easily record video or audio of real-world learning spaces to rewatch and reinforce their learning experiences in the preservice teaching program (Pegrum et al., 2013).

  • CertCentral’s SaaS online courses solution allows for preservice teachers to easily upload audio and HD quality video recordings directly from their tablet.  Once uploaded, preservice teachers can easily send these files to students for viewing. These multimedia files help reinforce concepts learned in the classroom that day (Pegrum et al., 2013).  

2.  Provides a means to extend knowledge presented in lessons.

  • Preservice teachers can easily look up supplemental resources online on their iPads for students that struggle to understand concepts the way in which they are presented in class (Pegrum et al., 2013).  Preservice teachers can then easily send these supplemental resources to those select students. These resources may be helpful because they present the information in different ways that may increase student understanding.

3. Provides a means to collaborate with other preservice teachers and supervisors.

4. Provides a means to stay organized.

  • A tablet-friendly learning management system facilitates management of large-scale or small-scale programs.  Further, intuitive reporting features make it easy to track which students are engaged and which students need more support.   


Cons of Tablet Learning

  1. Wifi-only iPads hinder access anytime, anywhere.

2.  It is time consuming to learn how to use the tablet and its applications.

  • Preservice teachers found that tablet applications were not intuitive and therefore did not help with making their preservice teaching experience more efficient (Pegrum et al., 2013).  However, mobile-friendly, user-friendly, and streamlined learning management systems that can be accessible on tablet may reduce difficulties adapting to tablet learning devices.

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