A University of Wolverhampton lecturer has contributed to a new book which explores how teaching can be enhanced by technology.
Dr Patricia Davies, Senior Lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Computer Science, studied the introduction of iPads at a preparatory school in South East England for children in years four and seven.
Her research found that children had more fun in lessons with iPads and that they struggled to concentrate without them. She also found that, whilst schools across the country are investing huge amounts of money in purchasing iPads and other digital tools for the classroom, teachers often do not know enough about the effect they have on children’s learning.
She said: “I think we’re getting to the stage where learning in a traditional setting is becoming more and more boring for young people and children and we’re running the risk of losing a lot of them because they are not engaged.
“The excitement of these new digital technologies has the potential to prompt novel ways of teaching and learning but schools need a much better understanding about how they can help children to learn with these new digital tools.
“Teaching children with iPads means that they could potentially become disinterested in lessons without technology but schools which fail to embrace digital learning techniques in the classroom will find it increasingly difficult to capture the attention of children.”
Dr Davies concluded that, whilst iPads have educational potential, they introduce a new set of practices that could potentially require regulation and they may unsettle a school’s capacity to control pupils’ actions and behaviours.
Dr Davies added that schools which invest in iPads need a better understanding about how they help children, and how they can be tailored to address their individual needs better.
Her findings appear in a new book, titled Enhancing Learning and Teaching with Technology, published by University College London’s Institute of Education.
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