Facilitator, Functionary, Friend or Foe?

Studying the Role of iPads within Learning Activities Across a School Year.
Anne-Marie Mann, Uta Hinrichs, Janet C. Read and Aaron Quigley .

Overview

Tablets are now a mainstream technology in the western world, with figures suggesting that 69% of under 12s in USA and 37% of 3-5 year olds in the UK regularly use a tablet. In school environments the numbers show that 78% of elementary schools in the USA and 70% of UK primary schools now use tablets in class. While tablet devices are now in classroom environments, we still lack in-depth and long-term studies of how they integrate into everyday classroom activities.

Findings from our research illustrate in-classroom tablet use across a broad range of learning activities and subjects such as maths, languages, social sciences, and even physical education. Our observations expand current models on teaching and learning supported by tablet technology. Our findings are child-centred, focusing on three different roles that tablets can play as part of learning activities: Friend, Functionary, and Facilitator. This new perspective on in-classroom tablet use can facilitate critical discussions around the integration and impact of these devices in an educational context, from a design and educational point of view.

Publications

Anne-Marie Mann, Uta Hinrichs, Janet Read & Aaron Quigley. 2016. Facilitator, Functionary, Friend or Foe? Studying the Role of iPads within Learning Activities Across a School Year. Proceedings of the ACM CHI conference on Human factors in computing systems. ACM, New York, NY, USA.