iTeach and iLearn with iPads in Secondary Language Arts


Published on

Russell, G. S., & Hughes, J. E. (in press). iTeach and iLearn with iPads in secondary language arts. In C. Miller, & A. Doering (Eds.), The New Landscape of Mobile Learning: Redesigning Education in an App-Based World. Routledge.

Tablet computers like the iPad seem to be well-suited for educational purposes, but no empirical research yet exists that examines its potential. This ethnography characterizes the ways in which two, veteran English Language Arts teachers and their students use ubiquitous iPads to facilitate teaching and learning in high-school. Results indicate that the iPad improves the efficiencies of learning activities but also introduces new classroom management issues. Many teaching and learning activities replicate or amplify previous approaches, and a few are transformed. This research can provide guidance for other schools that endeavor to create ubiquitous tablet computing environments. Future research should examine the longitudinal effects of similar interventions.

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • This study characterizes the ways in which two, veteran English Language Arts teachers and their students use ubiquitous iPads to facilitate teaching and learning in high-school. Specifically, we describe iPad-supported teacher practices and iPad-supported learning and media literacy development among students.
  • technology replicates, amplifies, and/or transforms subject area learning and teachingTransforming educational practices involves the reorganization of mental processes, students/teachers taking on new roles in educative processes, and/or access to or development of new disciplinary/content knowledgeevidence of widespread instructional, learning, curricular, or other transformative uses of technology within PK-12 settings is rare, because they require transformations in beliefs and organizational practices that are difficult to changewe do not expect “true meaningful change” to have occurred in the first yearHowever, we feel ethically bound and a time-sensitive imperative to share research-based insights
  • part of a larger ethnographic research studyHilly High School (HHS), a high-achieving school, suburban area that serves a socioeconomically-advantaged, predominantly white student population, serves 2500 students, implemented a 1:1 iPad iniativeBrett 15-year veteran teachercoaches football & baseball teamsfeels his busy schedule leaves him little opportunity to discover as many “cool” ways of using the iPad as he would like. aims to be innovative and engaging, while providing his students learning experiences that will help them be successful in the futureTeacher-led pedagogiesJulie17-year veteran teacher respected by her peers for her instructionAP English 4 and leads the student council after schoolIn four of her AP English classes, she utilizes more direct-instruction pedagogiesin two alternative AP English classes she utilizes more student-centered learning pedagogies.Data was generated between November 2011 and May 2012weekly class observations and written field-notesObservational field notes were completed immediately after observation, followed by elaboration and analytic memo-writing, allowing researchers to write about emergent ideas from the data during data collection and analysis. biannual semi-structured interviewsinformal chatsanalyzed using both a priori codes developed from the theoretical literature guiding this research and open-coding techniques reflecting emergent categories Constant comparison method of rereading and recoding the data occurred until saturation and no rival explanations existed.
  • Data analysis led to five overlapping themes that represent the major affordances and challenges of teaching and learning with ubiquitous iPads in high school ELA classrooms.Just like the iPad exists as part of a cluster of technologies that influence each other, so do these themes rely upon and inform each other.
  • HHS promotes the 4Cs (collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication) helps young learners develop critical new media literacies (Jenkins, 2006). Our data reveals that the iPad and its apps provided numerous opportunities to learn these skills, such as when students created individual and collaborative multimedia expressions of learning. For instance, students wrote original screenplays and filmed, edited, and published public service announcements in order to demonstrate their understanding of literature-based themes. Additionally, the sharing and publishing process was authentic, as students were able to easily share their work their peers and via the Web (e.g. YouTube). However, publishing student-identifiable materials in public online environments may be problematic, and these new media activities can be time-consuming in the context of 50-minute class periods.
  • afford vast efficiencies for classroom practices that developed and increased over timeFor example, the organization and distribution of learning materials via cloud-based storage spaces minimized teacher prep time. Students spent minimal time in class searching for materials like pens, paper, or past assignments and were able to quickly access Any time gained via these efficiencies may increase total time spent on learning tasks. just-in-time information from the Internet via a apps on their iPads.
  • Both teachers experimented with a variety of apps in their classroomsome of which were integrated frequentlyothers were used only once. In general (due to the nature of ELA classes) - Students primarily used their iPads as e-readers, consuming e-texts and web content on a daily basis. Unlike traditional textbooksthe iPad allowed students to annotate these texts in a variety of ways, such as highlighting or comment-making. most commonly used apps were: Internet browsers, PDF annotators, cloud-based shared storage services, word processing apps, email, e-readers and subject-specific apps. Content-specific apps, such as the script-writing app Celtx, also scaffolded students’ skill development, and knowledge acquisitionThe use of these apps was less common than the aforementioned productivity apps that were used on a regular basis, partially because of the difficult in identifying appropriate apps for content-specific tasks, and partially because of the cost of many content-specific apps.
  • Today’s high school age students expect the integration of digital technologies for learning, which of course ubiquitous iPads can facilitateStudents listened to songs, read lyrics, created/adapted images, filmed videos, creating and consuming creative content. Even the replication of ‘off-line’ assignments using the iPad resulted in increases in the quantity and quality of students’ work. Additionally, the administration allowed students and teachers at HHS to individualize their iPads, thereby increasing students’ control of and engagement with their learning device. While many of these apps and rich content can engage students with learning, they also may draw students toward distraction.
  • Overall, our data suggests that despite concerns about distractability, iPads do not increase the overall quantity of off-task behavior. Instances of off-task behavior were most common during whole-class, direct instruction, which suggests that the pedagogy may impact off-task behavior more so than the iPad itself. Although off-task use of the iPad concerned Brett and Julie, they were more concerned with students’ academic integrity.Issues of academic dishonesty became prevalent at HHS after the introduction of the iPads. During formal assessments, there were some incidents in which students accessed the Internet, took photographs and screenshots of assessments, and communicated with other students online. Teachers experimented with multiple solutions, but were unable to solve this problem completely, relegating themselves to paper-based assessments. Given scheduling constraints and 2011 budget cuts that eliminated most of the district’s technology integrationist positions, there was limited iPad introduction and training for faculty and staff. Therefore, challenges abounded as teachers and district IT staff collaboratively discovered solutions on-the-fly.
  • As technology integration initiatives similar to Hilly High’s iPad initiative emerge across the country, it is critical that we learn from risk-taking pioneers who lead the way forward, identify unique affordances and challenges presented by using iPads for learning, and provide guidance to move forward. This case demonstrates that iPads indeed have tremendous potential for educational use in formal classrooms. As change theory suggests, the earliest changes to teaching practices were replications and amplifications of existing classroom practices, but there were also a few transformative uses of the iPad that facilitated previously unfeasible learning experiences. As teachers and students continue to experiment with novel, research-based strategies, more amplified and transformed practices may emerge.The complexity of such an initiative requires a great deal of professional support to be successful. It requires the support of administrators at all levels, improvements to the information technology infrastructure, and professional development opportunities for teachers that are longitudinal, content-specific, and that facilitate the development of professional learning communities. In order to better understand how ubiquitous iPads affect a school’s culture of teaching and learning, future research should include: student data that will help us better understand students’ perspectives; classroom data from other content areas; and data from community members. In addition, future research should focus on how the use of iPads affects specific student learning outcomes.future research for the project
  • iTeach and iLearn with iPads in Secondary Language Arts

    1. 1. iTeach and iLearn with iPadsin Secondary Language ArtsGregory S. RussellJoan E. Hughes, Ph.D.
    2. 2. Theoretical PerspectiveTechnology as:• Replacement• Amplification• TransformationChange is difficult• Transformative uses oftechnology in PK-12 are rare• Many barriers to technologyintegration• • Change takes time
    3. 3. The StudyData• interviews• classroom observations• field notes• a priori & open-coding• constant comparison methodBrett• English 4• 15-year veteran• baseball & football coach• primarily direct instructionJulie• 17-year veteran; English 4AP• primarily direct instruction• ‘alternative’ classes withstudent-centered instruction• affluent suburb• 2,500 students• 1:1 iPad tostudent ratio forjuniors & seniorsHilly High School
    4. 4. ChangeisdifficultResults - 5 Overlapping Themes
    5. 5. ChangeisdifficultNew Media Literacies
    6. 6. ChangeisdifficultEfficiencies
    7. 7. ChangeisdifficultTeaching and Learning with Apps
    8. 8. ChangeisdifficultStudent Engagement
    9. 9. ChangeisdifficultDistractions, Integrity & Challenges
    10. 10. Implications for Practice & Theory• iPads have tremendouspotential for educational use• Early uses were forreplication and amplification• Experimentation & researchmay lead to more amplifiedand transformative uses• Learn from risk-takers• Similar initiatives requireprofessional support• Include data fromstudents, communities, othercontent areas & contexts, &learning outcomes
    11. 11. Connect & ReadGregory Russell – grussell@utexas.eduJoan E. Hughes – joanh@mail.utexas.eduRussell, G. S., & Hughes, J. E. (in press).iTeach and iLearn with iPads insecondary language arts. In C.Miller, & A. Doering (Eds.), The NewLandscape of Mobile Learning:Redesigning Education in an App-Based World. Routledge.