Presented by: Claire Phelan and Conor Galvin
This paper reports original research to identify issues and opportunities connected with using mobile, tablet-based technologies in a number of schools in the Leinster area. These have been recognised for what has been termed ‘leading-edge’ practices in one-to-one (1:1) / tablet-based computing programmes. Data were collected through an online survey and semi-structured interviews with key actors at the various sites. Findings from the research confirm that a clear vision, strong school leadership, a planned / coordinated approach, and timely and appropriate attention to teachers’ professional development were all key factors in the successful integration of mobile technology in the case-settings. However, some of the findings were counter-intuitive. For instance, when compared to younger staff older teachers were found to use mobile technology for a longer period of time in class. General challenges typical of 1:1 environments were also noted. Challenges identified included unreliable Wi-Fi and Internet access, locating suitable applications (Apps) for teaching and learning, and issues with digital books. In short: the paper addresses both the challenges of doing this type of research in an Irish setting and explores in depth some of the key outcomes noted above.
Claire Phelan is a post-primary teacher with interests in technology enhanced learning & teaching and in educational psychology.
Conor Galvin is a university lecturer and researcher who works out of UCD Dublin College of Human Sciences.