Technology enabled learning (TEL) includes using a wide range of technology to support learning. The key to TEL is that strong pedagogy leads the use of technology. Technology use will look different in every classroom and depend on access to devices, digital tools, specific student strengths and needs and teacher expertise.

Technology Integration Models

Currently, in Ontario, there are a number of technology integration models. Listed below are a few:

  • teacher has access to one laptop or other mobile device and to a computer lab or cart to sign out as needed for class

  • one device for every student (1:1) - a laptop or tablet that goes home with the student

  • one device for every student (1:1) - a laptop or tablet that gets used in the classroom only

  • a pod of devices in the classroom - maybe between 5 - 10 laptops or tablets to share in the class

  • bring your own device (byod) or bring your own technology (byot) initiatives that encourage students to bring their own mobile devices

  • bring your own device (byod) initiatives where students are asked to bring a laptop or tablet and those without devices are provided access to a school laptop or tablet

  • combination of any of the above

Types of Devices

There are many different types of devices that can be used in the classroom.

Device

Pros

Cons

Handheld Student Devices

(iPods, phones)

- accessible, with students regularly

- quick to start (less wait time)

- go home with students

- quick media creation

- smaller screens

- not all websites and interactive material works

- best for quick, short activities

Tablets - iPads

- large choice of apps

- quick-to-start

- apps that allow you to write on screen

- quick media creation

- not all websites, interactive material works

- limited multi-tasking

- no keyboard

- can be difficult to get files created by students off iPads in a classroom environment

- often have to login and logout of each individual app if sharing devices

Tablets - Android

- large choice of apps

- quick-to-start

- apps that allow you to write on screen

- quick media creation

- not all websites, interactive material works

- limited multi-tasking

- no keyboard

- have to login and logout of cloud computing settings if sharing devices

Tablets - Windows

- quick-to-start

- apps that allow you to write on the screen

- quick media creation

- most websites work if screen size isn’t too small

- no keyboard

- less apps than other tablets (however, most websites work, so less are required)

Laptops

- keyboards

- programs that can be installed, which many are used to using

- multi-tasking is easy (multiple programs open, for example when researching and writing)

- mouse

- can install specific programs that are unavailable on tablets for video editing, 3D design, animation, computer programming, games, etc.

- easy to share devices

- often (not always) more storage than a tablet

- can be slower to start

- can require upgrades and updates often

- less portable

- often have to import video and images from other mobile devices (could be difficult to take photos and video using webcam on a laptop)

Desktops

*these are often in labs and are connected to school networks

- easy to share and login with credentials if set up as such in school or board

- can handle complex and large programs

- can be slower to start

- can require upgrades and updates often

- less portable

- often have to import video and images from other mobile devices (could be difficult to take photos and video using webcam on a laptop)

Chrome books

- quick-to-start

- small, portable

- easy to share if students have Google accounts

- intuitive to use like a laptop

- most websites work

- cannot install software on device - just a web browser, so while it works great for web-based activities there are things you do on a laptop that cannot be done on a chromebook

- cannot use all peripherals or devices that plug into laptops like wacom tablets