Teaching and Learning with Mobile Technology : A Qualitative Explorative Study about the Introduction of Tablet Devices in Secondary Education
Marez, Lieven de
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This paper investigates teachers’ and students’ perceptions concerning the impact of using tablet devices for teaching and learning purposes. An explorative focus group study was conducted with teachers (n = 18) and students (n = 39) in a secondary school that has implemented tablet devices since 2012. The general finding of this study shows that the use of tablet devices in the classroom setting has an impact on both teaching and learning practices. The results suggest that teachers can be divided into two categories: the innovative teachers and the instrumental teachers. Innovative teachers attempt to shift from a teachercentered to a learning-centered approach. They have changed their teaching style by transforming lessons in accordance with the advantages tablet computers can offer. Instrumental teachers seem to use the device as a ‘book behind glass’. The distinction between the two groups has consequences for both the way courses are given and how students experience them. In general, the introduction of tablet devices entails a shift in the way students learn, as the devices provide interactive, media-rich, and exciting new environments. The results of this study indicate that policy makers should consider introducing technical and pedagogical support in order to facilitate both teachers’ and students’ understanding of the full potential of this kind of technology in education.