ERG SES G 02, ICT and Education
Different arguments justify mobile technologies entering today’s classrooms and integrating school dynamics. Not only are schools facing generations that want to use technology to learn, as argued by Prensky (2001) and Tapscott (2008), but also because they have proven to bring opportunities to classrooms, impossible otherwise. These technologies assumed their importance in education. The European Commission and UNESCO have agreed on their value to achieve greater equity in the classroom, as well as increasing economic development and competitiveness (Digital Agenda for Europe, 2013; UNESCO, 2013).
Many advantages found in mobile technologies appear to be potentially transformative of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Ozuorcun (2012) and Kwon (2010) point out significant gains, like stimulating self-regulated and collaborative learning, access to interactive resources, transferring learning to real-world situations.
Studies have underlined the iPad's unique capabilities, signalling it surpasses traditional laptops (Hutchison, et al. 2012) for its ease of use and adaptation to students needs, allowing differentiation (Ensor, 2012). Empowering students and a sense of belonging are key factors to lead to motivation (O'Malley, 2013). Although a growing interest, there are not that many studies specifically about the iPad in education. In Portugal, its potential has been studied for senior e-inclusion (Fonseca, 2011), as well as for special (Feijão, 2013) and primary education (Bidarra et al., 2012). Internationally, some reports (Clark, 2013; Karsenti, 2013) and case-studies can be found on the use of the iPad,varying in terms of subjects and students’ needs, ranging from the deployment with children aged 4-5 years (Beschorner & Hutchison, 2013) to support learning in higher education (Gawelek et al, 2011).
This study aimed at corroborating the benefits pointed out by literature, implementing a unit in two Portuguese private schools in Lisbon, with two teachers and their classes. The project focused: i) students’ motivation and involvement in learning, ii) development of spoken production in English, and iii) teachers’ ICT use to support their practices.
Beschorner B., Hutchison, A., 2013. «iPads as a literacy teaching tool in early childhood». International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology, vol.1, nº1, pp. 16-24. Bidarra J., Figueiredo M., Valadas S., Vilhena C., 2012. O gamebook como modelo pedagógico: Investigação e desenvolvimento de um protótipo para iPad. In A. A. Carvalho (Org.), «Aprender na era digital: Jogos e Mobile-Learning», Santo Tirso, DeFactoEditores. Creswell J. W., 2007. Projeto de pesquisa: métodos qualitativo, quantitativo e misto (2nd edition) Porto Alegre, Artmed. Digital Agenda for Europe, 2012. European Commission. Retrieved in January, 2014 from http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/. Ensor T., 2012, «Teaming with technology: “Real” iPad applications», Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, vol. 56, nº3, 193. Feijão M. H., 2013. A multideficiência e as tecnologias de informação e comunicação. Mestrado em Educação Tecnologias de Informação e Comunicação, Lisboa, Instituto de Educação da Universidade de Lisboa. Fonseca I., 2011. O uso de dispositivos multitácteis para a infoinclusão do sénior. Mestrado em Comunicação Multimédia, Aveiro, Universidade de Aveiro. Gardner, R. C. (2004). Attitude/Motivation Test Battery: International AMTB Research Project (English version). Retrieved in January, 2014 from http://publish.uwo.ca/~gardner/. Gawelek M.A., Spataro M., Komarny P., 2011, «Mobile Perspectives: On iPads - Why Mobile?» EDUCAUSE Review, vol.46, nº2, pp. 28-32. Gough D., Oliver S., Thomas J., 2012, An introduction to systematic reviews, London, SAGE Publications Ltd. Hutchison A., Beschorner B., Schmidt-Crawford D., 2012, «Exploring the use of the iPad for Literacy Learning. International Reading Association», The Reading Teacher, vol. 66, nº1, pp.15-23. Karsenti T., Fievez A., 2013, The iPad in education: uses, benefits, and challenges – A survey of 6,057 students and 302 teachers in Quebec, Canada, CRIFPE. Kwon S., Lee J. E., 2010, «Design principles of m-learning for ESL», Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol.2, nº2, pp. 1884-1889. Ozuorcun N. C., Tabak F., 2012, «Is M-learning versus E-learning or are they supporting each other?» Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 46, pp. 299-305. Prensky M., 2001, «Digital natives, Digital immigrants», On the Horizon, vol. 9, nº5, pp. 1-6. Tapscott, D. (2008). Grown up Digital. New York: McGraw-Hill. UNESCO 2013. «Policy Guidelines for Mobile Learning». Retrieved in January, 2014 from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002196/219641e.pdf.
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