TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE IMPACT OF iPAD© USE IN THE CLASSROOM ON THEIR INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICE
Wood II, Rick P.
Richardson, Patricia M
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As technology devices, access, and availability continue to grow exponentially in our society, school systems need to align their educational resources, tools and professional growth programs to have a positive effect on teaching and learning in today’s 21st century classroom. Studies have shown the integration of technology in the classroom can have a positive influence on teaching and learning. The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers’ perceptions of the impact that one device, the iPad©, can impact their instructional practice in the classroom. The goals of this study were to determine the variety of ways that iPads© can be utilized in the classroom, types of professional development that is valuable in technology integration and obtaining teachers’ perceptions towards the usefulness of this technology in the classroom. This study used a known measurable tool, the SAMR model, to quantify the integration levels of technology in the classroom. The framework of the SAMR model places technology use into four categories: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. Modification and redefinition are the highest tiers of technology integration, which exhibits the creation of tasks in the classroom that would not be possible without the use of technology. This study was conducted in a private, 9-12 high school which has implemented a 1:1 iPad© program since 2013 and is located in a rural/suburban area with 99% of the students matriculating to higher education. The findings of this study indicated a very high frequency and variation of iPad© use by teachers and students, with the majority of the teachers and students using the device everyday, mostly in the SAMR categories of substitution and augmentation. Teachers having the most total years teaching and the most years teaching with the iPad© were more likely to consider themselves above average or leaders in using technology in the classroom. Teachers that self-reported as above average or leaders in technology use also placed themselves in the two higher tiers of the SAMR scale, with Apple Educator certification being the most influential factor. In their professional development, teachers reported the use of in-house workshops as the most effective method to learn new technologies. When surveyed on the specific types of professional learning teachers needed to vary instruction, their primary response centered on receiving training on how to utilize technology to personalize learning for their students. In order to effectively use the technology in the classroom, teachers believed professional development sessions that focused on curbing student distractions were most valuable. Professional development that emphasized best practices to align the technology to their specific subject area was stated as most significant by teachers in order to increase technology integration in their classroom. Teachers felt the most positive impacts that iPads© had on their instructional practices included the increased access that students have to learn information, the ability to create assignments that would be impossible without the technology, and the ability to vary assessments with using the iPad©. Student plagiarism was the area of most concern for teachers when surveyed on ways that the iPad© can inhibit teaching and learning. Teacher experience, certifications, frequency of technology use in the classroom, professional development, and teacher perceptions and attitudes towards technology are realized as contributing factors in technology integration in a secondary school classroom.