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Tablet use in schools: a critical review of the evidence for learning outcomes

Resource type
Journal Article
Authors/contributors
Title
Tablet use in schools: a critical review of the evidence for learning outcomes
Abstract
The increased popularity of tablets in general has led to uptake in education. We critically review the literature reporting use of tablets by primary and secondary school children across the curriculum, with a particular emphasis on learning outcomes. The systematic review methodology was used, and our literature search resulted in 33 relevant studies meeting the inclusion criteria. A total of 23 met the minimum quality criteria and were examined in detail (16 reporting positive learning outcomes, 5 no difference and 2 negative learning outcomes). Explanations underlying these observations were analysed, and factors contributing to successful uses of tablets are discussed. While we hypothesize how tablets can viably support children in completing a variety of learning tasks (across a range of contexts and academic subjects), the fragmented nature of the current knowledge base, and the scarcity of rigorous studies, makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions. The generalizability of evidence is limited, and detailed explanations as to how, or why, using tablets within certain activities can improve learning remain elusive. We recommend that future research moves beyond exploration towards systematic and in-depth investigations building on the existing findings documented here.
Publication
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning
Volume
32
Issue
2
Pages
139–156
Date
2016
Journal Abbr
JCAL
Language
en
ISSN
1365-2729
Short Title
Tablet use in schools
Library Catalog
Google Scholar
Rights
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Citation
Haßler, B., Major, L., & Hennessy, S. (2016). Tablet use in schools: a critical review of the evidence for learning outcomes. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 32(2), 139–156. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcal.12123
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