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24.08.2015

From the notebook to the tablet thanks to Handouts

Image | Handouts 

Implementation of technology in the classroom has been increasing year on year, from laptops and electronic whiteboards to multimedia players, e-books and tablets. Currently, and increasingly, the use of the internet is implemented in schools to facilitate teachers’ and students’ lives. The teachers use the tools that the network offers to develop the syllabus, upload notes, set homework or write notifications for the students. Meanwhile, students use the internet as it is a practical way to do these tasks and communicate with their tutors.

 Internet use in class, either with a computer or a tablet, provides many advantages such as saving time, immediacy, interactivity and control. Children are fully accustomed to using these technologies and are very comfortable with them. Undoubtedly, electronic media is the notebook of the 21st century.

In this context, Handouts was born under the slogan “Simple classroom workflow”. Developed by Tipitap, this app is designed to replace photocopies and sheets that are handed out by hand to students. They no longer have to hand in written homework to the teacher, instead they can do everything digitally through the app. The same occurs with the teacher’s materials.

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It’s as easy as this: the teacher sends the documents (syllabus, activities or summaries) to the students. The students receive it on their tablets and with a finger or stylus, they carry out the activity set by the teachers. When finished, the students send the document to the teacher’s account, and that’s it! The app is very versatile and offers teachers and students various interaction possibilities. Through the Handouts cloud, the teacher can choose whether to send documents to all students or to certain students in particular. It is also possible to give marks virtually and write individualised comments. In short, it is a tool that saves time for the teachers and money for the school that would have previously been invested in making hundreds of photocopies each year.

But where does the application’s material come from? In the Handouts cloud, it is the teacher who uploads all the resources necessary for their classes, whether it is photos of books, digitalised documents or other resources created by them. All that is useful for their classes can be found in the cloud. The students can access this and work on the tasks from the classroom or from home and without the need to use e-mail or attach documents. It is a way of helping children to organise themselves as they do not need to carry a lot of paper in their rucksacks that can sometimes get crumpled or torn. It also helps teachers who are not at risk of losing the students’ exam papers or exercises.

The app is designed for children of all ages and all stages of schooling. For the youngest, it is the ideal tool for introducing them to the digital world in a simple and orderly way.

According to the developers themselves, using this app would save half an hour each day for the teachers, and more than $1,000 a year for the school due to reducing the amount of photocopies. Additionally, an application like Handouts helps to protect the environment; using this app could save an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 printed sheets a year. These amounts, multiplied by the number of schools in the world, means many hours are spared, and entire forests are saved from logging.

The future of the classroom is in this type of digital media. Children can learn in a more dynamic and participatory way and teachers have the guarantee of knowing that their students are learning at the right pace and are undertaking the activities. The application is currently only available for ipad.