From App Attack to Goal-Oriented Tablet Use

From App Attack to Goal-Oriented Tablet Use

Dominic Mentor (Teachers College, Columbia University, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6300-8.ch001
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Abstract

There is a need to move from the hype of tablets and apps to the usefulness and functionality of tablets' hypermedia capabilities to engage K – 12 students and teachers. Tablets are dynamic devices allowing students and teachers to construct knowledge multimodally, individually, and collaboratively. With so many different types of tablet devices, it is important to make well-informed decisions around goals and educational objectives. A hybrid theoretical approach is offered in this chapter that offers guiding markers. Considering the “four Cs” of context, curriculum, content, and collaboration as foundational guidance, this chapter offers insights and support when integrating educational technology. Considering these elements offers clarity for which theories and practical pedagogy would be applicable and how they should be applied for successful tablet educational engagement. The need exists to theoretically and practically plot and plan how to use tablets and apps, making the educational teaching and learning practice a rich interactive experience.
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Background

From designing and teaching a mobile learning graduate course for more than six years and being in the educational technology space for more than fourteen years, to working on various projects with K- 12 schools, after school and non-profit organizations, the experience has been of administrators and non/trained teachers to jump on the technology bandwagon, add a shiny new toy to the educational experience to look technological savvy and impress stakeholders superficially. Very little theoretical guidance for practical pedagogical use or professional development offerings is available for K – 12 teachers who are already suffering from time poverty (Provincial Government of Alberta, 2012; Greenly, 2013). Teachers often have to respond to the frequent demands of policy changes for technological purposes, but are provided little professional development, time and strategies to prepare themselves to satisfy those demands and to strengthen their competencies (Greenly, 2013; Mills, 2013). Furthermore, there is value in adopting tablet technology as recent short term studies (Molina, et al., 2013; Simpson, et al., 2013; Stewart, et al., 2013) conducted in K-12 educational settings have shown success and improvements in assessment scores (Dalyrimple 2012), possibly from better information retention because of multimodal interactive capabilities of the tablet (Boyle, 1997; Moreno & Mayer, 2000) and in turn, higher levels of student engagement (Baca, 2012; Bonnington, 2012; Whittingham, 2013) if supported by foundational educational theories and practices (Wiske, 2001; Harmon, 2011; Hughes, 2004; Sandvik, Smørdal, & Østerud, 2012). Consequently, when theoretically advised pedagogical practices, with objectives and goals, are driven by educational technology integrations, tablets add value to the educational experience and become powerful educational tools in the hands of educators and students.

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