The research on using tablets to teach math showed that students had expressed more independence while using tablets for in-class learning and lecture review (Bonnington et al. 13). Students for whom English was second language expressed an extremely high level of appreciation of tablet use, and especially noted the availability of lectures which could be downloaded and re-listened (Bonnington et al. 14). Distance learning students indicated that tablets were also very effective for online group chat sessions, collaborative problem solving, and for arranging consultation sessions with their teachers (Galligan et al. 49).
Along with the various advantages provided by tablet PCs to the students and teachers of mathematics, there also exist particular challenges created by the use of multiple tablets in the classroom. Works and student responses submitted simultaneously might lead to software errors, and wireless connectivity issues might also emerge (Fister and McCarthy 288). Sound quality video size and download speed for pre-recorded lectures might also add to technical issues while teaching mathematics using tablet PCs.
A specific challenge is related to the fact that when lecture recordings are provided to the students, some of them might choose not to attend the lectures (Bonnington et al. 9). According to Bonnington et al., about 80% of information are provided by body movements and gestures of the teacher, and the students who choose not to attend, might significantly reduce the quality of their learning (Bonnington et al. 10). There also exist issues associated with lecture recording for instructions who actively use gestures and movements in their teaching style, as technology reduces the expressiveness of this style.
Thus, analysis and research of use of tablet PCs for teaching mathematics shows that use of multiple tablet PCs in class is viewed as highly effective and beneficial by both students and teachers. For students, the greatest benefits are interactivity, availability of pre-recorded lectures, notes and explanations and increased collaboration, and for teachers, technology is saving time and providing multiple new methods of teaching. Additional effects of use of tablet PCs for teaching mathematics are increased student independence and knowledge ownership, along with higher interest to mathematics and greater engagement into learning process. Tablet PCs are particularly beneficial for distance learning students, students for whom English is a second language, and for students with disabilities or limited abilities. Research results show that tablet PCs are highly effective not only for teaching math, but also for interdisciplinary learning (Fister and McCarthy 290). The technology of tablet PCs is very promising, and it is highly likely that schools and universities in near future will equip their students with tablet PCs packed with various educational software instead of textbooks.