iPads in the classroom literature review


In 2013 the London Knowledge Lab published a literature review into use of iPads for learning in the compulsory education sector. Many of the findings in the literature review and executive summary are transferrable to post-compulsory sectors, hence inclusion here.

Following is an excerpt from the executive summary:

In the three years since the iPad was first introduced, there has been a rapid uptake of iPads and other ‘post-PC’ tablet devices in schools [and across other post-compulsory sectors] both in the UK and globally. Enormous investment is being made, but do we have the evidence to support this show of faith?

The adoption and integration of tablet devices into [education] systems is not without controversies, and the purpose of this report is to explore if we know enough to demostrate if, how and when iPads support learning.

Our aim is to identify key ideas from the literature on the effective use of iPads and other ‘post-PC’ tablet devices, to discuss the implications of tablet technologies for [education] leaders, network managers, learners and parents, and to set this within the wider global context. The term ‘post-PC’ tablet is used to encompass the plethora of new-look mobile tablet devices.

This report is based upon a review of literature, including newspaper reports and blog posts as well as academic and corporate research papers. The report is divided into five sections:

  1. An introduction
  2. What the research says about teaching and learning with iPads [and other ‘post-PC devices’]
  3. What the research says about the implications for decision makers
  4. What the research about implications for different user groups
  5. A review of the research context

Before proceeding, it is important to state that this report has an unapologetic emphasis on iPads in schools: 1) because that is where most of the current research on ‘post-PC’ devices is to be found; and 2) in the knowledge that there are nevertheless common lessons to be learned that are applicable to other tablet devices and their use in education [including in post-compulsory education sectors].

Download the full report: 2013 iPads in the classroom literature review and report.


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