Tablet Computers More Beneficial Than Originally Thought

tablet computers

Tablet computers may be more beneficial for seniors and children than originally thought. With tablet computers being a popular choice in the latest technology choices, many people are seeking the assistance or entertainment of tablet computers. Even Steve Jobs was reported to say that tablet computers would surpass regular PCs as the choice of computer technology.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas appear to think seniors can benefit from the use of tablet computers. In a recent study conducted by the Center for Vital Longevity, 18 adults between the ages of 60 to 90 were given iPad tablets to use for three months. The same number of adults within the same age group was told to complete low-cognitive demand activities, such as watching television or completing standard word-cross puzzles. Another 18 participants were also told to socialize 15 hours a week and to converse about “travel, art and history.”

All participants took assessments before and after the study which measured mental agility, such as comparing numbers on a list. After reviewing the scores for each group, researchers found those adults who used the iPad tablet showed “significant improvement in episodic memory,” along with improvement in processing information.

Micaela Chan, the graduate student who led and published the research in the journal The Gerontologist was originally introduced to a similar study by Dr. Denise Park. Chan added that the participants who used the iPad also gained beneficial technological skills, such as online banking and communication through social media. Chan also stated these adults were introduced to a tool which makes modern living easier, and may even free up time. The iPad, in general, was chosen for use with the participants due to its large visual icons.

Tablet computers may be more beneficial than originally thought as even children in Nigeria are proving. A report from The Economist stated millions of children are out of school in conflict-ridden Nigeria. However, in a school located in Yola, capital of the Adamawa State, not only can teens sit in front of a computer, a teacher can use a tablet computer to project charts on a whiteboard. The teacher, a doctor from the American University of Nigeria said every school in the country should utilize this technology for a few dollars a piece, particularly to improve the outcome of teaching, which is so rare.

Nigeria is reported as having one of the world’s worst learning crises, with a third of men ages 15 to 29 unable to read. “Techies” believe tablets, computers and even phones will not only help students connect to teachers faster, but teachers can also utilize online resources better than books, which are often scarce in the country.

There are some risks in obtaining new technology, and this is due to the terrorist organization called Boko Haram. Due to the potential threat of this organization, schooling is nearly impossible in some parts, and as The Economist reports, an “ineffectual government” would further hinder the distribution of these kinds of technology around Nigeria. The benefits may outweigh the risks, however, as teachers report after only a few months, vast improvements are seen among a large group of students.

There are more benefits to using tablet computers than originally thought, and Steve Jobs may have known this when the iPad was released in 2010. A report by Sebastian Anthony of Extreme Tech stated Jobs predicted tablet computers would outsell PCs over time. New data from Gartner Inc. is showing Jobs may be right.

According to figures established by the IT research firm, Gartner believes approximately 320 million tablet computers will outsell PC’s by a margin of 4 million units, or 3 percent. Gartner attributes these measures on current data which shows sales of PCs have declined over five years, but a recent slowing of this decline (or recent boosts of PC sales) is attributed to Windows 7. Gartner also predicts that “premium ultramobiles,” or ultrabook PC laptops, will help stunt further decline of PCs in 2015. Still, with tablet computers being more beneficial than originally thought, tablet computers may just be what more people need in the modern world.

By Liz Pimentel

UT of Dallas
The Economist
Extreme Tech

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