The iPad in the Classroom: Three Implementation Cases Highlighting Pedagogical Activities, Integration Issues, and Teacher Professional Development Strategies

The iPad in the Classroom: Three Implementation Cases Highlighting Pedagogical Activities, Integration Issues, and Teacher Professional Development Strategies

Nathaniel Ostashewski, Doug Reid
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2985-1.ch002
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Mobile learning devices, such as the iPad tablet, have the potential of providing unique pedagogical strategies for the K-12 classroom. One of these strategies is digital storytelling, a constructivist approach using digital tools to create and share short stories. This chapter describes three iPad implementation projects involving multimedia database and digital storytelling creation that underscore the successes and challenges of these devices and the new classroom activities they make available to educators. The results of these projects suggest that the iPad is one device that can successfully support and sustain a variety of multimedia creation and use in the classroom. Specifically, this chapter reports on research that identifies mobile pedagogical strategies on the iPad, such as mobile small and large group demonstrations, student-directed control-and-playback activities, backchannel (microblogging) conversations, Web-based research activities, and digital storytelling. As with other types of technology implementations, management and process challenges exist that should be considered. This chapter details some of the challenges that are specific to iPads and multimedia creation on these devices.
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The focal point of the research presented in this chapter is the implementation of the Apple iPad as a mobile learning device in K-12 classrooms. Although other “iDevices” such as the iPod Touch and iPhones can provide similar functionality in the classroom (Kervin, Reid, Vardy, & Hindle, 2006; McCombs, Houk, Higginbotham, Johnson, & Liu, 2006), the iPad’s larger interactive screen size allows for new kinds of teaching and learning opportunities. The multi-touch interactive capabilities of the iPad are a source of the teaching and learning opportunities that make this technology easier to use in mobile learning situations (Watlington, 2011). Despite the fact that “iDevices” have been available for some time, K-12 teachers continue to need guidance on how to successfully utilize new technology tools in meaningful ways. The ability to display multimedia (Kervin, Reid, Vardy, & Hindle, 2006; Vardy, Kervin, & Reid, 2007), control media playback using touch interactions, and easily access larger multimedia collections are the features of the iPad that make it a new class of teaching and learning tool (Watlington, 2011). Furthermore, educational leaders such as school district managers and administrators who are considering implementing these kinds of devices need deeper comprehension of the value of such technology initiatives and the types of support needed to bring about meaningful learning projects. The potential of mobile tablet devices regarding new kinds of learning opportunities for students is the focus of the research explored in this chapter. Using these devices as electronic book delivery platforms has significant implications for education, but is outside the reach of the research presented here.

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