IPADS IN THE SECOND LANGAUGE CLASSROOM: AN EXAMINATION OF IPAD USE BY TEACHERS THROUGH TPACK AND TEACHER PERCEPTION LENSES.
Sharp, Steven Kary
Lavine, Roberta Z
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Research indicates a need for teacher education programs which include embedded computer assisted language learning (CALL) to support teachers’ technological pedagogical and content knowledge (TPACK) of how to employ technology in classroom settings. Researchers also indicate a need to better understand the knowledge-base of language teacher education (LTE), including a teacher’s possible 40 year career through ever changing technology. This mixed-method case study examines the use of iPads by four teachers, who represent maximum variation in their teaching and technology experience, in two mostly homogenous schools. The study looks specifically at how teachers’ perceptions of 1) teaching, 2) technology, 3) using technology and 4) their students shape the way they use iPads with English language learners. It also examines what supports facilitate the use of iPads for instructional purposes in second language classrooms. I focus on the use of iPads in a one-to-one implementation in a technologically embedded context because iPads are a relatively new innovation in classrooms, with the potential of changing instruction. Such changes may contribute to the challenges and benefits of being an effective teacher in the English language teaching (ELT) classroom. Research on the use of iPads in classrooms has been previously limited to mostly suggestions for use and has given little guidance in how this disruption will assist and challenge teachers. TPACK is used as a powerful construct based in a reconceptualization of the language teacher education (LTE) knowledge-base, indicating influences of context, teachers and their perceptions, identity and agency and activities in the classroom. These factors suggest ways which classroom technology and teacher, student, administrative and contextual influences may mediate the activities of teaching and learning in the classroom. The data show a correlation between teachers’ practices with iPads and their previous experiences using technology in the classroom. Teacher groupings demonstrated differences in teaching based on their experience using technology and teaching. Schools showed differences only in terms of some choices made by the administration. Students’ effects on the use of iPads is minimal, except for instances of how student behavior affected the classroom.