iPads in the Classroom: What do Teachers Think?

iPads in the Classroom: What do Teachers Think?

Janet M. Ferguson (Department of Teacher Education, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, USA) and James N. Oigara (Department of Teacher Education, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.2017100106
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In education, new technologies are used to improve the process of teaching and learning. This study examined middle school teachers' perceptions regarding the use of iPads for instruction. The participants, 53 middle school teachers in Western New York, responded to an online survey, asking them questions about how they felt about the 1:1 iPad initiative at their school. Data analysis included open and axial coding for identification of themes and patterns, as well as quantitative statistical analysis. The results showed mixed findings, as some teachers believed that iPads had a positive impact on the teaching-learning process by improving student engagement and communication, while some responded with concerns that iPads caused student distraction and allowed off-task behaviors in the classroom. The findings also suggest that teachers need targeted professional development on pedagogical and practical use of this technology to be able to successfully integrate it into their practice.
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Literature Review

As our society uses technology more and more in our daily lives for social interactions, the challenge for educators is to guide students towards using iPads and other tablet devices for educational purposes (Oliver, 2007). In a study of middle school students and iPad use, Maninger and Holden (2009) reported that teachers were “overwhelmingly positive”, saying that students’ engagement, interest and involvement had improved. Word processing, communication and taking notes in class were the three most prevalent tasks the students used the iPad for. Going beyond these uses, online research was also reported by the teachers. This technology had an overall strengthening effect on the learning process.

Previous research has shown that making iPads part of everyday pedagogy will motivate and enhance student learning (Kinash, 2012; Demski, 2011). In another study, Hargis, Cavanaugh, Kamali and Soto (2014), reported that students who used iPads in the classroom gained empowerment as they became researchers and more independent learners.

Swan, Hooft, Kratcoski and Schenker (2007) investigated the effect of the use of handheld devices on student learning in 1:1 computing classes. Their results showed increased student motivation and engagement in comparison with students who attended regular classrooms. They also found that teaching and learning in the computing classes were more student-centered, collaborative and flexible. Research also show that English language learners benefited greatly by using the iPad to look up words quickly and hear them pronounced correctlyDemski, 2011).

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