How tablets are utilized in the classroom

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New technologies are a large part of the educational landscape in the 21st century. Emergent technologies are implemented in the classroom at an exponential rate. The newest technology to be added to the daily classroom is the tablet computer. Understanding students’ and teachers’ perceptions about the role of tablet computers is important as this can provide information for future development and implementation of table technologies in the classroom. To gather users’ perceptions, observations of eight classrooms and interviews with 23 students and three teachers were performed in a middle school that implemented 1:1 iPad program, toward the end of the first-year implementation. Themes elicited from the interviews included like/dislike of the iPad, iPad as an educational tool, iPad for play, iPad as a distraction and responsibility, and favorite apps and projects. Although most participants did like having the iPads and considered them useful for education, there were a number of concerns, particularly with learning to use the tablet technology and distractions created by having the device. The apps used in the classroom were limited, with the majority having been productivity apps. The need for teacher training for effective classroom applications of mobile devices is discussed. © 2016 ISTE.


1:1 iPad program; Instructional use of tablets; Student perceptions; Tablet technology; Teacher perceptions

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