Date of Original Version

2007

Type

Thesis

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

The tablet PC provides a unique tool for education in that it allows students to write naturally in digital ink, making it possible for both normal and enhanced educational material and curricula to be easily transferred to a digital environment. There are many tools currently available for the tablet PC that are very useful to teachers, but there is very little software geared toward students—especially younger students. Younger students, however, may find a tablet PC particularly helpful because many of them have not yet developed typing skills. The Tablet Math System was developed in order to enhance children’s learning of simple mathematics and at the same time decrease teacher workload. The main goals of this study were to understand the ability of teachers to integrate the Tablet Math System in their classroom and to understand the perceptions of students and teachers regarding the software. Pilot studies in three fourth-grade classrooms indicate that the Tablet Math System was successfully integrated into classroom activities. Students completed almost 20,000 problems over 18 weeks on six tablet PCs rotated between three classes. Students had highly favorable perceptions of the Tablet Math System. They greatly preferred the tablet pc to paper, and were even eager to do math. The biggest complaint among students was that it was difficult to get on the system (as each class only had 6 tablets). The students also believed they did better on math presented on the tablet PC than on paper. Teachers found little change in their teaching pedagogies and had some problems integrating the system into their curriculum. These factors point to the importance of teacher training and professional development for the specific software environment. The findings also show that a tablet PC lab may be more advantageous for students, teachers and schools than a rotational model.

Comments

Department of Information Systems

Ananda Gunawardena

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