Preparing the tablets

If you’re starting to teach with tablets for the first time, you may be wondering how best to get your students off to a good start. If your school is providing the tablets, make sure that the free Oxford Learner’s Bookshelf app has been downloaded. If students are bringing their own, they’ll need to do this.

Students need to register with Oxford, or log in with an existing account. This means that e-books are saved in the cloud and can then be accessed from anywhere.

Getting to know your digital coursebook

Tap on the cover of the book and it will open. If you compare it to the paper-based version you’ll notice the content is the same. Now you can relax as all those wonderful lesson plans and activities you prepared are still relevant.

So what are the differences? Rather than turn the page, a swipe changes it. Pinching can enlarge a picture or a text, something you can’t do with paper. Remember that when you want students to look in more detail or for students with visual impairments that need a bigger script.

Remember listening and video is inbuilt. Play around, click on some of the icons and see what happens. Make sure you also know how to input text into exercises and operate all other tools. Now think about how you are going to show your students to do these things? If you have a projector, do you know how to connect your tablet so that students can see your screen?

How interactivity in e-books supports learning

Getting started, I project my iPad onto a bigger screen and pinch zoom the photos so that they fill the screen. Getting the students to look at the picture, I introduce the topic and we explore the ‘big idea’ together. Remember, you can also display inbuilt video to introduce a topic. Using the pen and note tool, I can write some of their answers on the page.

Once the students have the idea, I ask them to work in pairs and with one of their tablets to explore and discuss together.

Digital coursebooks have the ability for students to record themselves, more confident students can practice the pronunciation into the audio note. Students can listen to the audio, tap record and say the word after each one is said by the coursebook.  They can then play it back to check their pronunciation.

For extension tasks I ask the class to complete one of the exercises at home using the self-marking tool. This can be e-mailed to me so I can check their understanding and monitor progress.

The benefits of using e-books are numerous, but most importantly it helps you meet the differing learning needs and ability levels of your students and provides an enhanced learning experience.

Don’t worry if you don’t have tablets, Oxford Learner’s Bookshelf e-books can also be used as a front-of-class presentation tool. Ask your local Oxford Education Consultant for more details.

Try out your free sample of Oxford International Primary Maths and Science e-books here