Author(s)

Ahmet Kilic

Date Approved

7-10-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Learning Disabilities

Department

Language, Literacy, and Special Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Kuder, S Jay

Subject(s)

Tablet computers;Mathematics--Study and teaching

Disciplines

Secondary Education and Teaching

Abstract

Educational leaders and policy-makers assume that replacing the technological tools currently used in schools with new, portable ones will result in widespread usage of the device for educational purposes by students and teacher, and an increase in student achievement. This study examines these assumptions with twenty students taking an Algebra-2 course in a northern New Jersey charter school. The mixed methodology used in this study included classroom observations and assessments, surveys for both students and teachers, and interviews with parents through home visits. Findings show that iPad integration in an Algebra-2 class led to a slight increase in student achievement, as well as student participation and peer collaboration. However, interviews with parents and data from teacher surveys indicates that iPads can easily turn out to be a great distraction for students, if it does not happen along with instructional coherence and comprehensive changes in class. By highlighting a number of caveats with the effective implementation of iPads, and exploring the appropriate use of iPads in schools, the findings of this research shed light on avenues where educational leaders and policy-makers are charged with making the decision of whether to use iPads in classrooms in their districts as a valid educational tool of choice.

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