ASUS innovative solutions in the educational process
The other day, representatives of the ASUS office in Moscow attended an open geography lesson in the eighth grade of the Lyceum of Information Technologies No. 1533 , which began to use tablet computers ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime.
Until today, tablet computers have not been used for training purposes either in lyceum No. 1533 or in other educational institutions of Russia. Now, only a few schools in Russia are experimenting with interactive multimedia electronic textbooks, which are cheap e-books with a simplified OS and other technical limitations. Interactive boards are more actively used, however, and they have a number of disadvantages.
Lyceum of Information Technology No. 1533 (LIT) - state educational institution (since 1992 -UNESCO Associated School ), focused on working with students who have completed grades 7–8 of a secondary school, have passed competitive interviews, and are ready for intensive work, relying on the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). The educational process at the lyceum covers grades 8-11. All graduates of the lyceum go through a three-year cycle of specialized training (grades 9-11), ending with the defense of graduation projects. After graduating from the lyceum and the faculty of IT profile, most graduates become specialists in large IT companies (Yandex, Google, Microsoft, ABBYY, Kraftway, Kaspersky Lab. And many others). Such a platform is the best training ground for educational experiments.
When each student has his own personal mobile device (and in our time - more than one), the educational sector especially needs to implement innovative solutions. According to official figures, the number of personal computers used for educational purposes in institutions implementing general education programs is more than 900,000. Of these, only a few tens of thousands are laptops (mostly outdated). It should be noted that the lyceum provides training using laptops and desktops using a wide variety of operating systems. In November last year, the administration of the educational institution finally formed an idea about what kind of tool students and teachers need. It was then that information appeared about the imminent release of the ASUS Transformer Prime tablet on the market.
Now on tablet computers ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime are studying children of grades 8-11. The lyceum is equipped with two full classes: the company delivered 50 cars (tablet + docking station). Due to its mobility, devices are successfully used in classrooms of general education disciplines: geography, history, chemistry, biology, literature and the Russian language. The next step is the development of specialized training courses on programming mobile applications.
I managed to attend an open lesson where students first used ASUS tablet computers. At the beginning of the lesson, in five minutes, the students were handed out tablets and explained the principles of work. That's all, no additional training was conducted. Almost everyone is familiar with devices, Android 4.0 did not raise additional questions. At this stage of training, third-party software is not used, and the whole lesson is actually held in a browser window, based on the UILISS training platform (is there, unfortunately, no way to find out a thin allusion to “Valis” by Philip Dick :).
Educational Lyceum Information Network System (ULISS) - an electronic repository of educational materials of the Lyceum with shared access. This is where the electronic journal and diary are located, where the student, teacher or student’s parents can always see grades and homework. Only teachers (each in their own subject) and stream curators can make a change to the electronic journal. In the visual learning environment, both the demonstration of training materials and the control testing are performed. ULISS is a significantly redesigned version of the Lyceum educational processes version of the Learning Management System ( LMS ) Moodle 2.0 . The completion of the system was completely carried out by the lyceum staff.
In the lesson, the students worked with a contour map of the area on which it was necessary to choose the names to significant points on the map. By the way, the journalists who were present at the meeting could not advance further than Nizhny Novgorod, Kostroma and Yaroslavl :) During the lessons with tablets, students study 3-4 people in a group. And this is a new quality of work in the lesson, mutual assistance and a collective search for solutions. And there is no need to hide your tablet from the sight of a tee-bully. The result of the work (which is sent to UILISS) is a file with an answer from the entire group, and a file with an assessment of the degree of contribution of each to the work of the group.
A logical question, is the choice of a tablet so important if only the default browser is used from all its capabilities? We were assured that in a few months the development of additional applications would end. For example, in a history lesson, it will be necessary to compose a family tree by choosing the appropriate icons. The learning process is transformed if we make it in the form of a game, which, in turn, is perfectly feasible on tablets.
The student-tablet interaction is primarily a tactile process (the finger touches the screen). Nobody forgets about the importance of developing motor skills and the need to use handwriting skills (however, the world scientific community has not yet given a definite answer about the true importance of the ability to use a pen), but the stylus is not used in the learning process. However, nothing prevents to change this, because ASUS Transformer Prime supports, including handwriting.
Another important issue is the impact on the eyesight of students. And although in the topic “ eInk: benefit or harm?"Habrausers actively discussed all possible (and impossible) harm, it was not possible to develop a common opinion on this subject. The lyceum has its own approach, based, inter alia, on SanPiN. Its main idea is that children do not spend 40 minutes of a lesson staring at the screen, most of the time they are in the process of discussion and they turn to the tablet only to get a question and enter answers. And for some reason everyone forgets that nothing prevents the children from spoiling their eyesight with ordinary books :)
The educational process is organized simply: at the beginning of the lesson, tablets are handed out to children, and collected at the end. Unfortunately, you cannot take home.
I know, many will have a question why the choice was made in favor of ASUS Transformer Prime, when the market is flooded with so many offers. There is nothing supernatural in this if you know the basic capabilities of the device or become familiar with them at least a day or two. Prime is a combination of functionality and accessibility. Transformer Prime is lightweight (586 grams), children can easily hold it in their hands, while the tablet is made of a reliable, sturdy metal case. The NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor provides sufficient performance in the learning process. The battery lasts for 10 hours (without a dock), which allows you to use the tablet for the entire school day. High-quality IPS-display with good brightness does not tire your eyes. Needless to say, how much simplifies the educational process using a hardware keyboard.
I would like to believe that with the help of new technologies it will be possible to qualitatively improve the learning process. In one lesson, it was noticeable that students like to work with the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime (and in my childhood it was cool to poke around in a school pencil case with numerous secret compartments :). But the question is, will it be possible to revolutionize education in general? Schools, Lyceums, even institutes are hopelessly behind real life. "Fundamentals" no longer suit anyone. In refresher courses for teachers tell the common truths of twenty years ago. And no innovation will help if teachers in the IT field know less than their students.