Douglas Marks iPad Research
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Douglas Marks iPad Research



Presentation from Technology for Excellence 2011

Presentation from Technology for Excellence 2011



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  • I was going to become a teacher and chickened out because of this. Classroom management. Getting kids enthused is hard.
  • Not sure what we are educating young people for? Initial purpose was to read the bible, then to work as cogs in a capitalist system – money generating devices, NEVER for their own actualization.
  • In some ways, it doesn’t matter what the cause is, but how do we bridge the gap.
  • Idea of technology as being an educational novelty has been the norm for the past 30 years. Special computing classes, etc. while in work places, they are an integral part of our working (PCs, blackberrys, etc). Therefore schools have lagged behind the workplace for 30 years, despite the fact that schools provider the workers of the future, and should therefore be leading the workplace, not lagging behind it.

Douglas Marks iPad Research Douglas Marks iPad Research Presentation Transcript

  • Does use of touch screen computer technology (Apples’ ‘iPad’) improve classroom engagement in children?
    Dougie Marks Tim Laxton
    Lecturer Researcher
    University of the West of Scotland,
    Glasgow University
  • Dougie Marks BA, MSc:
    Health Psychologist, Lecturer in Alcohol & Drug Studies at UWS, Researcher in Health & Education
    Tim Laxton BA, PgD:
    MSc Student at UWS, Researcher in Health, Sociology, & Education
    Dr Leah Marks BSc, PgCert HE:
    Lecturer at the Medical School of Glasgow University, Researcher in Technology & Education
  • Overview
    Engagement in the classroom – why is it important?
    Gender variations in attainment potentially related to engagement
    What role can the iPad play in this?
  • Engagement in the Classroom
    The problem of classroom engagement.
    Seems to be important in relation to academic success.
    Engagement encompasses meaningful involvement in the learning process
  • Community environment
    Expectancies of young people
    Cognitive characteristics (Vacca & Vacca, 1999)
    Factors impacting
    School environment
    Exposure of young people to excessive stimuli
  • Why is engagement important?
    Positively correlates with several factors:
    1) school attendance (Voelkl, 1995),
    2) achievement (Connell et al, 1994)
    3) a sense of belonging (Goodenow, 1993)
    4) confidence regarding to achievement (Schunk & Zimmerman, 1994).
    Antisocial behaviour is inversely associated with engagement (Jenkins, 1995).
  • Problems of current education
    Why is engagement a problem?
    Education was NEVER designed with the needs of young people at the heart
    What we are educating young people for?
    Educating for Victorian era
    Volatility of the job market, growing job instability, technological changes
    Predicted that students of today could have up multiple careers – not jobs – in their working life (estimates vary).
    The end of rote learning
    Emphasizing a holistic educational experience
  • A Twofold Problem
    1) Lack of job vacancies
    2) Meeting employer demands
    A ‘problem at the supply end’ of talent.
    “Increasingly, employers complain that today’s young adults are not equipped with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century workforce”
    (Pathways to Prosperity, Harvard University, 2011).
  • Engagement Theory (Skinner and Belmont, 1993)
    Behavioural engagement - concept of participation, (social, academic or extracurricular)
    Emotional engagement - affective reactions (positive or negative) to those sharing the school environment.
    3) Cognitive engagement - intellectual faculties necessary to comprehend new information and skills (Fredricks et al., 2005).
  • Gender differences in attainment & engagement
    The gender gap is well documented, and widening.
    Began recording a gender gap with regards to educational attainment in 1988.
    Since 1995 this gap has remained roughly constant at around 10% in favour of girls (Department for Education, 2003).
  • What causes discrepancy in attainment?
    Present educational status-quo inherently uninteresting to boys? Un-engaging, resulting in poor academic performance (Jackson, Moore and Leon, 2010).
    Girls report significantly higher engagement than boys on all aspects of engagement (Fredricks et al, 2004).
    Potential biological differences, gender stereotyping, lack of role models, curricular design, staff motivation, involvement of parents, and home circumstances
  • Lack of application of knowledge gained on gender differences to the classroom environment.
    Scotland – despite the broader inclusion agenda, there is a risk that gender issues become overlooked (Forde et al, 2006)
  • Present Study
    Aim: To evaluate the impact introduction of 1:1 iPad deployment on classroom engagement of school pupils
    Particularly interested in gender effects
  • Method – 2 components
    Classroom comparison
    lesson withiPad Vs lesson without (‘traditional’ lesson)
    Comparison of engagement
    Focus Groups
    Classroom teacher groups
    Pupil groups
    Ethical approval gained for both components of the study from the University of Glasgow School of Education
  • Measuring engagement*
    *Utilized Engagement Theory and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Principles in construction
  • Observational Data
    Observation and evaluation study conducted :
    WithoutiPad - pupils working from texts book only. 2 tasks
    For pupils of p4/5 this meant replicating and coloring in various shapes into their jotters from text books
    For pupils of p6 this meant reading a short story in
    a group setting, followed by answering questions
    in textbooks
  • With iPad- pupils given task to complete solely using tablet technology only, 2 tasks
    - for p4/5 this involved pupils selecting from a series of products and creating their own advertisement
    - for p6 this involved pupils creating a melody to accompany a re-written poem about each pupils own personal experience
  • Aim of focus group was to ascertain the views of the teachers and classroom assistants in the use of tablet technology
    Highlighted a perceived positive effect on learning, behavioral and emotional responses by pupils using the tablet technology in a classroom environment.
    • Teachers viewed ... “ability to search the web”
    “ easy to use word processor”
    “ use of applications such as ‘keynote’, teaches kids to give presentations”
    “ less confinements for all round learning”
    ... as positives when reviewing the use of iPads in the classroom.
    • All children interviewed expressed a number of positive points for using the tablets in the classroom.
    • More fun way of learning
    • Easy and helpful to work on
    • Access to web allowed more creativity in their work
    • Homework less of a chore
    • Increase in confidence for learning new things
  • Group Comparison Results
    Significant differences were found between iPad and control conditions
    WithiPad, students scored higher on:
    overall engagement
    cognitive engagement
    emotional engagement
    but NOT behavioural engagement.
  • Overall Differences in Engagement
  • Gender analysis
    Same pattern of results in the overall analysis remained in males
    BUT no significant differences between the conditions for females’ engagement.
  • Gender Differences in Engagement
  • Is Technology the Answer?
  • Conclusions
    Use of the iPad in class appears to significantly impact boys engagement, and engagement in the whole sample.
    Suggests that it is helping a sub-section of girls to engage, potentially those who were particularly disengaged previously.
    Appears to raise the standard of class engagement to that potentially seen previously in girls who were already motivated to learn.
  • Acknowledgements
    Collaborators: Iain McPhee, Louise Cremin, Tim Laxton, Anthony Sneider, & Leah Marks
    Management: Ken Barrie
    Cedars School: Lesley Rankin, Fraser Speirs, Andrew Jewell, Owen Atkinson