iPad Scotland Final Evaluation Report has raised much attention, it is indeed an insightful resource to prove how the fancy tablet iPad re-invents the ways of learning. So we wish to dig a little more out of it. You might get some answers from the report as you ask yourself: How well does our iPad 1:1 program work? Do we use iPad to its full potential in learning and teaching?
Enhancement or Transformation
(page 90) Two frameworks or models have been selected in this study to assess the impact of the initiative on teaching and learning. These are McCormack’s and Scrimshaw’s ‘Conditions for ICT’ (2001) and Puentedura’s ‘Substitution; Augmentation; Modification and Redfinition model, commonly referred to as the S.A.M.R. model (2012)15. For the purposes of this report these two models have been amalgamated to identify two key areas in which the use of iPads in the pilot schools has Enhanced or Transformed teaching and learning. On Page 102, examples of the practice are given.
Frameworks for evaluating mobile learning
(from page 114) Various frameworks have been developed to explain and analyse the phenomenon of mobile learning. The framework shown below and in Figure 6 (see section 6) is based upon research undertaken by staff at the University of Hull and at the University of Technology, Sydney (Kearney et al., 2012). It identified three broad affordances associated with the use of mobile devices in education, including personalisation, collaboration and authenticity. Each of these is sub-divided into two operational constructs shown in the diagram below (see Figure 25). Each of these operational constructs can be used to assess or measure the extent to which mobile devices are affording opportunities for greater personalisation, collaboration or authenticity in learning.
Curriculum for Excellence and personal devices
(page 103) The Curriculum for Excellence framework aims to transform the learning experiences of young people in Scotland by providing a more flexible and enriched curriculum offering which addresses the totality of experiences, both within and beyond the formal boundaries of schooling. It identifies four broad Capacities for every student to achieve during their time in school, along with Principles for Curriculum Design, ideas to encourage ‘different kinds of learning’, and various strategies for encouraging teachers, students and their parents to use assessment and reporting as dynamic tools to underpin progress and achievement. These various elements are shown in Figure 24 which is used in this report to highlight how the effective utilisation of a device like the iPad can enable learners to achieve many of these aspirations.
(page 105) The findings from this report have repeatedly emphasised how the personal ownership of a device like the iPad impacts on learners in terms of enhanced motivation and enjoyment; increased levels of personalisation and choice, and greater relevance and authenticity in the tasks and contexts students are set to undertake. These findings map closely with at least three of the principles for curriculum design described in the Curriculum for Excellence, highlighting an important area for further investigation and development.
Assessment and Reporting
There were indications and evidence collected in this pilot which signpost a number of directions for further exploration around the use of a personal device like the iPad as both a record of progress and a tool for more personalised feedback and assessment.
Several teachers in both the primary and secondary pilot schools, for example, explored ways in which the iPad could be used as an assessment tool by both the teacher and the student to provide a greater amount of detail, personalised to the individual student, around their performance, in ways which could not otherwise be achieved. One example, which has been cited previously, is the use of
screen recording apps (e.g. ‘Screen Chomp’ and ‘Explain Everything’) which enable the teacher to use the camera and audio capability of the iPad to give multimodal feedback related to a specific piece of work which the student can watch and revisit again at his or her leisure.
Similar results and effects can be achieved when students use their iPad as a portable voting device (see for example the app ‘Socrative’) enabling the teacher to gauge the level of understanding across a class instantaneously, before moving on to focus on areas of misunderstanding or weakness.
The introduction of the iPad as a personal device in seven out of the eight pilot schools in this study, dramatically transformed the access and use of technology experienced by students both in lessons and outside of school. The following are some popular Apps used by them and the usage profile of iPad in lessons.
At the end, it is recommended that a more extensive mapping exercise of this nature is undertaken to verify and extend the findings in this study and to explore how teachers, curriculum planners and app developers might jointly advance this agenda.