Not so long ago, touchscreen technology was just a fiction which could be found in science fiction books and film. Within a short span of time, it has turned into fact. It is hard to imagine getting through our daily tasks without a tablet or smartphone. Touchscreens are everywhere. Now, it has edged into education sector as well. It has ushered in a new way of teaching and learning, making it more dynamic and interactive. There is potential for even greater use of this technology. This potential stems from:
- The affordability of the devices
- More natural interaction mappings for users
Main palyers: Apple iPad, Apple’s iPhone, Google Android Operating System, Apple iPod Touch, Interactive White Boards, Microsoft Surface
Benefits of Touch Screen
A Concise Video About How Touch Technology Apps Help Children With Autism:
- It is affordable; prices for touch screen devices have fallen over the years
- Children between 4-6 years, need less time to complete on the touch screen than with the mouse
- According to a study, children (4-6 years old) make less mistakes while using touch screen
- With the right implementation, touch screen can be a more effective way to interact with a computer
- Gestures and different types of finger presses can be used to interact with touch screens. Swiping, pinching, tapping, double-tapping, and sliding are all different gestures and means of interacting with touch screens. Often times, these gestures can more naturally map to the intended action than the mouse and keyboard can.
- The touchcreen devices have the advantage of being able to capture the attention of even very young students—kids who may be bored or restless listening to traditional lectures are able to learn more effectively as they interact directly with the device.
- The devices also offer a chance for students who may not have a computer or internet access at home to become familiar with the technology and its possibilities.
- One particularly encouraging area of use for touch screen devices is in helping students with disabilities. One particular disability has benefitted greatly from touch screens. Autistic people are receiving help like never before.
How Touchecreen Devices Are Being Used
In schools where touchscreen devices have been introduced, students are using them to play educational games, read interactive books, practice math skills, identify shapes and colors, draw pictures, research cultures and time periods, turn in assignments, and much more.
Teachers are also using touchscreens to prepare interactive lessons, stay organized, and improve their own teaching processes.
- These technologies are so new, no one really knows what the long term effects of so much “screen time” will be on young students
- Some devices are limited in their abilities to highlight e-books and take notes
- Touchscreen tablets are also limited in some functionality—since they do not come with a full keyboard and are not as powerful as traditional PCs, they cannot be used for some tasks.
- It is difficult or impossible (in some cases) to switch between applications or “windows,” and some files and websites cannot be opened on a tablet
- Typing papers, or even emails, is also somewhat awkward
- Although there are keyboards that can be tethered to the iPad or Android tablets, the experience is mediocre at best when compared to a laptop or personal computer
- The tablet productivity software pales next to the gold standard; Microsoft Office
Ultrabook Vs Touchscreen
Ultrabook is essentially a cross between a tablet and a laptop. It offers some of the best features of both. It is also seen as a solution to some of the technical problems of touchscreen. In most cases, ultrabooks have the same functionality and power as a laptop, but are smaller, lighter, and offer features like touchscreen and “convertibility” (meaning that you can flip the screen and use it either as a tablet or a laptop) that make them easier to use.
The advance of Ultrabooks appears poised to combine the best features of tablets, namely touch screens, with an operating system that would support the use of Microsoft Office programs. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are mainstays for students.
Digital Pen By N-trig
As more schools move to electronic textbooks and mobile computing, N-trig Ltd., an Israeli company with Austin operations, sees a growing opportunity for its digital pens. The company’s micro-controller technology turns typical touch-only sensors on smartphones, tablets, notebooks and ultrabook PCs into touch and pen-enabled systems.
N-trig pens let users write notes, tables and illustrations electronically on their device for later use or uploading to share with others. Some applications also support handwriting recognition that converts the digital ink to text that can be imported into a Word document or the body of an e-mail. An online feature makes it possible to share electronic notes with work colleagues or classmates.