Last week, I took the initiative to try my own Tablet PC experiment with my son, Tyler. Ty is just finishing up first grade and we're blessed in the fact that he's at or above grade level in most areas. One area that he struggles with, much like any other seven year old, is doing homework. Children at that age still have a relatively short attention span and just don't want to sit down and do their homework right the first time. Extraneous activities such as television or friends cause kids to rush through their homework. I need to find a way to keep Tyler's attention focused on his work and the Tablet PC may be the trick. More after the Read More jump....
Tyler writes his spelling words in a small journal and often rushes his work. He is spelling the words correctly, but he's rushing so much that the words get sloppy. His teacher often asks him to take the journal home and rewrite some of the more "messy" words, which we fully support. However, Tyler often rushes the second time as well, so the trick is finding the technique or tool that will slow him down. For us, that trick is the digital ink capability of the Tablet PC and the built in Windows Journal software.
We could use any number of software applications for the writing exercises, but we use Windows Journal simply for it's ease of use and the "look and feel" of lined writing paper. With absolutely no instruction, we told Tyler to use Windows Journal, which he quickly found in the Start, Programs menu using the digital pen. Once he had his blank page, he simply began to re-write his spelling words....and not just the ones he was asked to re-write; he wrote them all!
Every single world was better than the written words he wrote earlier in the day. It's evident that he took his time and did the homework right the first time. Better yet, he was able to print out the page on 3 holed paper and take it to school, where it looked just like any other homework on lined paper.
Although other people could experience different results, its abundantly clear to us that the Tablet PC is a great learning tool for Tyler. Part of it may be the "cool factor" which could wear off over time, but for now, we'll take it!