Devices in schools allow teens to research instantly in the classroom
When it comes to the types of devices that teens are using, the smart phone is hands down the winner. This is highlighted in the devices section of the full report on Teens, Social Media and Technology written by Charlotte, a Transition Year student on work experience here at Arekibo. Charlotte investigated the relationship teenagers have with social media and technology.
The appeal of the smartphone is that it has the functions and features of computers, laptops, and tablets compressed into a small, compact device. These features include the ability to take photos with high quality cameras, the ability to download and play music, ample storage space, the ability to connect to and browse the internet, the ability to download and use applications (such as gaming or social media apps) and connect to other devices using bluetooth. This is not forgetting all the traditional phone capabilities such as sending texts and making voice and video calls.
Some teens have another device such as a computer, laptop, or tablet in addition to their phone. These may provide a bigger screen for teens to research information, watch videos and stream things, and to work on projects.
A few schools are starting to introduce the use of laptops or tablets. My school has recently introduced the use of iPads. All our school textbooks are on the iPads; however, we still write in copies, and any workbooks we have are hardcopies. The school introduced the use of iPads due to the additional resources they offer. The applications that our books are on allow us to highlight, underline and add annotations, as is possible with hardcopy books. They also provide the ability to read the text aloud and offer additional webpages and resources such as diagrams. These features are not possible with hardcopy textbooks. The iPads are small, and portable, but also have a screen large enough to view the textbooks. They also give us the capability to research anything we are unsure of instantly. We are allowed download educational apps only, and these can be useful for study (apps such as Quizlet provide us with a new, interesting way of studying), and for project work (apps such as Microsoft PowerPoint are very useful for this). The fact that all our books are on one device also means we have less books and weight to carry around!
There are many benefits to iPads and tablets, however, sometimes the apps or the internet do not work, or the iPad itself doesn’t work. It is very inconvenient when an iPad is not working and could be very expensive and time consuming to fix. At times like these, hardcopy books would definitely be useful. Many students in my year also experience difficulty staring at screens all day and studying from screens late at night and may end up buying the hardcopy books to use outside of school hours.
Usage of all of these devices has become much more prominent and become a bigger part the daily lives of teenagers.
Find out about teens social media usage and about how the fear of missing out keeps teens addicted to their phones in our first two parts of this series.