With fingers moving swiftly over the screens of their white iPads, the students in the classroom are engrossed in parsing through websites.
“The tablet is small and handy, but in the end I’d rather have a laptop,” says Sara Walsh, an eighth grader at Oulu International School.
Fellow students Susanna Paasovaara, Markus Kuismin and Riina Posti say tablet computers are convenient and easy to use, and that searching for information with them is a breeze. In their class, tablets are used for researching information, reading literature and making videos.
The kids do not have tablets of their own at home and don’t seem interested in owning one.
During their lesson on Wednesday, the students are told to compare their school’s current website and its upcoming, newer layout. Deputy Head Raija Johnson will forward the students’ comments to the web designers.
Johnson cites some examples of how the tablets are used at her school. “We use the tablet computers to download teaching materials in English and for utilizing maps on the Internet and reading literature during language classes.”
Tablet computers, or tablets, as they are known, are rapidly gaining popularity in schools. So far, Oulu Public IT Services has supplied approximately 60 tablet devices to different schools, but they expect demand for tablets to rise in the near future.
Oulu Public IT Services is currently vetting tablet suppliers for price–quality ratio. The city has earmarked 150 000–180 000 euros for purchasing new tablet computers over the next two years.