The effects on learning for the high school biology student with the implementation of the individual iPad usage in the classroom
Iliff, William Bennett
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The purpose of this project was to investigate the introduction of the individual Apple iPad to the high school biology student, establishing the one-to-one classroom, from the perspectives of the students, their parents, and the science department teachers. A series of surveys were given to the students in two classes at the beginning and end of the school year, as well as midway through the fall and spring semesters. Student responses were sought for opinions on the impact of the iPad on organization, homework completion, test preparation, extended individual pursuit of topical class information, and the possibility of distractions. Twelve individual student interviews were also undertaken to elicit extended, candid responses to related questions. Parent surveys were administered to gauge familiarity with the device and estimate of their child's school experience and productivity due to the presence of the iPad. Departmental science teachers were surveyed to investigate opinions on their overview of the program, professional fulfillment from the program, challenges confronted, and possible enhancement of student learning outcomes in light of introduction of the device. The collected data suggested increased homework completion, perceived better test preparation, and reading assignment participation for the students. Distractions due to game playing were a real challenge in this initial year of the program, as noted by students, parents, and teachers. Due in part to this challenge, levels of teacher frustration were reported as higher, with personal fulfillment possibly diminished. Nevertheless, with more practice, future positive outcomes are believed to be possible in differentiated instruction, student engagement in school, and the further integration of technology into the science laboratory.