Does size matter: Can larger tablets help with learning?

15 years ago we increasingly demanded smaller and smaller electronic devices. Who could forget the sheer joy of the pocket size Nokia 3210? Or the even smaller Nokia 8210, so chicly featured in the Charlie’s Angels remake?

However, the digital demands have changed and the smaller is no longer the better. Now there seems to be a shift towards creating larger devices. Just look at the new iPhone from Apple: the iPhone 6 (4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen) is the largest iPhone to be released.

And it’s not just phones that are increasing in size, the same has been true of tablets. Fuhu, a tablet company, are planning to release a 24-inch tablet. They aim their devices at children, as a way to engage children in learning. Tablet learning for children is becoming increasingly popular: 8 out of 10 teachers now think tablets can improve classroom learning.

But, are these larger devices just useful to children’s learning? Couldn’t they also be used for adult learning?

Adult learning

Those in the adult learning industry are always looking for new ways to engage learners. Brightwave have created their social learning platform ‘tessollo’, Kineo have developed their responsive ‘Totara’ LMS and Sponge have used gamification to entice learners.

Let’s face it, it’s not just children who need to be engaged in learning, we all do. That is why every learning company is focusing on how to make learning as enjoyable as possible.

42% of US adults now own a tablet. And mobiles and tablets are increasingly being used to deliver learning programmes. So could a larger tablets be beneficial?

Gamification

Gamification is being used more and more in adult learning and a larger tablet gives the possibility for far more complex games. A 24-inch tablet is over twice the size of the regular 9.7-inch iPad, giving you over double the amount of screen space to play with when developing a game. Better games means more engaged learners.

A larger tablet also provides a real opportunity for multi-player games on a singular device.

Team building

Multi-player games which use the same device could also be a good team building exercise. Creating games where players have to work together could lead to better co-operation at work. And learning in groups adds a social element to work place learning.

Bigger picture learning

Mobile learning has meant that many learning companies need to make sure their platforms work on smaller devices. This provides the challenge of not trying to lose any of the learning points while ensuring that the system runs smoothly on a smaller screen.

However, a larger screen means that you have the potential to increase the complexity of the learning system and put it, literally, in a bigger picture. This could be useful for more complicated learning points.

For example, a larger screen gives you the possibility to have an instruction video on one side of the screen to instruct you how to complete a task on the other side of the screen.

Summary

There is now a trend in technology of creating larger devices. This could be great for adult learning, as it may help create:

  • Better gamification opportunities with multi-player activities
  • Improved team building exercises creating social engagement
  • Bigger picture learning – greater screen estate provides more complex learning potential


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