Over the past few years, my role has had significant impact upon the hardward and software decisions we have moved forward with on the Primary Campus. From Year 3 students bring their own device to school. We specify a 2-in1 touch screen device, with a stylus, operating Windows 10. When making these decisions, I considered the best ways for younger students to work and how they could best be supported by technology.
Touch capability and a stylus were two things that I considered valuable for younger learners. The use of a pencil is already largely automated in student brains, so a pen interface can easily leverage these existing patterns (Oviatt, 2012). Further to this, Oviatt (2012) states that digital pen interfaces are better suited for expressing spatial content. Younger students often do not have the fine motor developed for making use of trackpads. Reaching out and touching is very natural to them and mirrors what they have learnt to do on mobile devices, which many are exposed to from an early age these days.
McKnight, K. (2017). Leveling the playing field with Microsoft Learning Tools. Washington, DC: RTI, Centre for Evaluation and Study of Education Equity. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from http://edudownloads.azureedge.net/msdownloads/Learning_Tools_research_study_BSD.pdf
Oviatt, S. (2012). Computer interfaces and the impact on learning. Redmond, USA. Retrieved December 19, 2018, from http://download.microsoft.com/download/0/1/2/012FC5FD-750F-4BDE-96EA-83BC0199EC51/Microsoft_Computer_interfaces_and_their_impact_on_learning_widescreen.pdf
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2014). Integrating educational technology into teaching. Harlow, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited.