Teacher Use of iPads in the Classroom of a South African Public School

Teacher Use of iPads in the Classroom of a South African Public School

Vuyo P. C. Lupondwana (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa) and Emma Coleman (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7473-6.ch013

Abstract

This chapter argues that when implementing technologies such as iPads in developing country educational contexts, there are different factors to consider than when implementing in the developed world. It is important to consider these to reap benefits that improve the inclusivity of education for all. The chapter examines teacher use of iPads in the classroom of a township school in South Africa and the benefits and challenges experienced by teachers in using the devices. Qualitative data were collected through interviews with teachers. The findings of the study indicated that overall the effect of iPad use by the teachers was positive. The use of iPads resulted in the teachers having access to quality multi-media and educational apps to teach their subjects which led to learners' increased class involvement and independent learning. The study revealed that effective use of iPads requires teachers that are adequately trained to use the iPad in relation to subject specific content, a reliable wireless connection, technical support, and mitigation of learners' distractions.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

The provision of quality and relevant education to learners, especially from previously disadvantaged communities, has the potential to alleviate a wide range of the social issues that beset South Africa. A sluggish economy, high youth unemployment, high crime and an unequal society have driven the post-apartheid government in South Africa to channel a significant portion of its budget to education (National Planning Commission, 2011). The Gauteng Education department Member of the Executive Council (MEC), Panyaza Lesufi, committed to the provision and use of technology in Gauteng public schools in the Gauteng State of the Province in 2015. He stated “We refer to classrooms with facilities that will transform the conditions and raise the standards of our education even higher. We are working toward creating a classroom that will provide technological support to all our learners and educators” (Gauteng State of the Province, 2015). Credence was given to this statement by the budget allocation to the “Paperless Classroom” project of 17 billion Rand by the end of the 2017/18 financial year (Gauteng Treasury, 2016). The objective of the paperless classroom is to provide cutting edge technology to learners who may not have not have access to it, to support the delivery of quality education by loading textbooks on tablet devices and to improve of the learning experience by learners (IT Web, 2015).

This chapter argues that when implementing smart technologies such as iPads in developing country educational contexts, there are different factors to consider than when implementing in the developed world. It is important to consider these factors so that the same benefits are realised, in order to improve the inclusivity of education for all. Otherwise these projects may fail, resulting in wasted money, and lack of opportunity for the educational development of under-resourced children. The benefits that are realised by the use of smart technologies in classrooms in under-resourced areas may also differ, and it is important to understand these differences in order to help ensure that the potential for the technology to improve education and the learning experience within the context of implementation is as fully realised as possible.

The chapter focuses on perceptions that teachers have of iPads in the classroom, how the teachers use iPads in their classroom and the classroom effect of the iPads. The Paperless Classroom initiative is a very substantial investment and with the struggling South African economy it is vital that the implementation of the project is effective and yields the intended outcomes of delivering quality and relevant education to Gauteng learners. Learners who are exposed to technology which is incorporated in their classroom learning may have a better chance of acquiring the tertiary skills they need to contribute to the economy (DOE White Paper, 2004)

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset