20 SES 13 JS, JS NW 20 and NW 24
Paper Session Joint Session NW 20 and NW 24
The increased popularity of mobile technologies has resulted in schools around the world investing significant funds in mobile devices such as tablet computers in the hope that learning and teaching practices will evolve to better suit the needs of contemporary learners, resulting in deeper engagement and improved learning outcomes. Although not originally intended for use within educational contexts, since its introduction in 2010 the iPad has fast become the ‘must have’ device in Australian and international classrooms. Although some claim the iPad has the potential to revolutionise teaching and learning (Banister, 2010; Ireland & Woollerton, 2010), others advise caution in relation to its educational value and warn it should not be viewed as a panacea, able to address all of the challenges of contemporary education (Gardner & Davis, 2013; Rowsell, Saudelli, Scott, & Bishop, 2013).
The rapid development of mobile devices and their vast range of affordances has resulted in a lack of direction for teachers who are expected to use the devices effectively in their classrooms. While many schools in Australia are buying into the hype of iPads and similar devices, they do not appear to be investing in professional development that addresses pedagogical approaches rather than technical aspects and this may be due to the newness of the devices and the time lag between research being conducted and disseminated into the profession. Although research concerning iPads in schools is beginning to emerge, there is little that documents their role in primary mathematics classrooms in relation to pedagogical approaches that incorporate their use and whether they serve to improve student learning outcomes and engagement. However, there has been recent research focussed on specific mathematical applications (Highfield & Goodwin, 2013; Larkin, 2013) and the affordances of using iPads (Melhuish & Fallon, 2010), but little published research exploring the issues relating to the implementation of the devices and ways in which to use them to enhance mathematics teaching and learning (Attard, 2013; Attard & Curry, 2012). This lack of direction provides a deep challenge for teachers who need to reconceptualise their practices to accommodate the new devices (Niess et al., 2009).
The goal of this paper is to explore how a small group of primary teachers used iPads in mathematics lessons within the first six months of implementation. I will argue that care should be taken when making the decision to purchase and use iPads or indeed any new technology to teach mathematics in primary classrooms and appropriate professional development that addresses the combination of mathematical content, pedagogy and technology is critical for all teachers. The ease of use associated with iPads may lead schools to assume their implementation is easy, but teachers’ levels of expertise and experience in terms of pedagogy and content knowledge must also be taken into consideration.
Findings from two studies conducted in Australian primary classrooms (Attard, 2013; Attard & Curry, 2012) will be used to support the argument above. Data is explored in relation to the TPACK framework (Koehler & Mishra, 2009). From this data, the importance of teachers’ development of pedagogical content knowledge (an assumption within the TPACK framework) prior to the use of iPads for teaching and learning will be explored. The practices of the teachers including the issues and challenges they experienced and examples of their teaching with iPads will be presented against a backdrop of the SAMR model (substitution, modification, augmentation and substitution) (Puentedura, 2006) and used in conjunction with TPACK to organise, present and analyse the observed uses of iPads.
Attard, C. (2013). Introducing iPads into Primary Mathematics Pedagogies: An Exploration of Two Teachers' Experiences. In V. Steinle, L. Ball, & C. Bardini (Eds.), Mathematics education: Yesterday, today and tomorrow (Proceedings of the 36th Annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia) (pp. 58-65), Melbourne: MERGA Attard C., & Curry, C. (2012) Exploring the use of iPads to engage young students with mathematics, In J. Dindyal, L. P. Cheng, & S. F. Ng (Eds.), Mathematics Education: Expanding Horizons. (Proceedings of the 35th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia), pp 75-82. Singapore: MERGA. Banister, S. (2010). Integrating the iPod Touch in K-12 education: Visions and vices. Computers in Schools, 27(2), 121-131. Gardner, H, & Davis, K. (2013). The app generation. New Haven: Yale University Press. Highfield, K., & Goodwin, K. (2013). Apps for Mathematics Learning: A Review of 'Educational' Apps from the iTunes App Store. In V. Steinle, L. Ball, & C. Bardini (Eds.), Mathematics education: Yesterday, today and tomorrow (Proceedings of the 36th Annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia) (pp. 378-385), Melbourne: MERGA Ireland, G.V., & Woollerton, M. (2010). The impact of the iPad and iPhone on education. Journal of Bunkyo Gakuin University Department of Foreign Languages and Bunkyo Gakuin College(10), 31-48. Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technoogy and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70. Larkin, K. (2013). Mathematics Education: Is There an App For That? In V. Steinle, L. Ball, & C. Bardini (Eds.), Mathematics education: Yesterday, today and tomorrow (Proceedings of the 36th Annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia) (pp. 426-433), Melbourne: MERGA Melhuish, K., & Fallon, G. (2010). Looking to the future: M-learning with the iPad. Computers in New Zealand Schools: Learning, Leading, Technology, 22(3), 1-16. Niess, M. L., Ronau, R. N., Shafer, K. G., Driskell, S. O., Harper, S. R., Johnston, C., . . . Kersaint, G. (2009). Mathematics teacher TPACK standards and development model. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 4-24. Puentedura, R. (2006). SAMR. Retrieved July 16, 2013, from http://www.hippasus.com Rowsell, J, Saudelli, M. G, Scott, R. M, & Bishop, A. (2013). iPads as placed resources: Forging community in online and offline spaces. Language Arts, 90(5), 351-360.
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