This study examines the use and uptake of iPads in two technology-free Spanish pre-school classrooms. The study was framed by a socio-cultural perspective and an action research process. Data sources included videos of 42 four-year olds and their engagement in play and literacy activities before the iPads were introduced in the two classrooms, and while they were used for the duration of approx. three months. Teachers in each classroom were interviewed, before and after the iPad introduction. Parents' views on children's use of new technologies were ascertained via parent questionnaires. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using content analysis; questionnaires were analysed thematically. Video data were analysed using phenomenographic analysis. Results indicated that parents were mostly concerned about the educational value of new technologies and the contribution of iPads to the classroom instruction. In the initial interviews, teachers raised concerns about the practical implementation of iPads, especially in relation to the need for children's independent manipulation of the hardware. In the final interviews, however, teachers recognised that many practical challenges can be overcome through children's collaborative use of the hardware and talked enthusiastically about the positive influence the technology brought about in the classrooms. The video data analysis revealed that children's engagement with iPads was directly related to three basic needs of self-determination- autonomy, competence and relatedness-which are directly implicated in successful learning processes. Our findings provide empirical insights into the educational implementation of iPads in early years settings with previously little experience of new technologies.
Natalia Dankova, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Canada
Stream: Language Learning
This paper is part of the ACLL2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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