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Creation and Adoption: The Head in the box’ – using tablet technology to support learning and teaching -- 26 -- Short (oral) Paper

11:30 - 12:30 on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 in 2.218

Higher education is undergoing unprecedented change and universities must adjust to meet the needs of students, within a competitive market. Excellence in teaching and learning is therefore fundamental to ensure that we enhance the educational experience of all and make learning more flexible and accessible. Technology has a key part to play in supporting the core processes of learning, teaching and assessment and providing effective modes of delivery and the reality is that mobile devices are now a significant part of the grain of everyday life (Pettit & Kukulska-Hulme 2007). New generations of students presume that universities will make use of these new resources (Prensky 2010) and Ipads have been identified as having the potential to transform learning (Smith 2011).

The purpose of this project was to pioneer new ways of enthusing learners in class based settings, to meet the needs of a diverse student population by exploring the use of ipad2 tablets within the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care at Manchester Metropolitan University. The focus was on promoting active engagement with classroom based activities. As such the ipads have been used to encourage collaborative learning, allow instant replay and review of skills performance and promote interaction within large lecture theatres.

The faculty purchased a stock of ipads which are available through a booking system to all academics. Members of staff are invited to submit a short proposal outlining details of how they plan to use the ipad and to request the installation of apps as appropriate. The proposals are reviewed by the project leaders to ensure that the aims are achievable within existing institutional parameters. Once the proposal has been reviewed and accepted members of staff are given the opportunity to attend a short tutorial on ipad functionality so to equip them with the necessary skills to use the ipad effectively within the classroom with students.

The motivation for carrying out this study was to explore the students learning experiences of using the ipads and the staff perceptions of the value added. With this in mind the project was evaluated using a mixed methods design carried out via focus groups and comment notes of both staff and students. Feedback to date has been overwhelmingly positive.

We will discuss the successes and challenges raised by the project, as well as future developments and potential wider implications for ipad usage.


I am about to embark on a project using iPads in the classroom with students. I'd like to me briefly to discuss what you have been doing. Sadly unable to attend your session. Are you at conference for whole period?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012, 11:17