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Research at St Andrews

Facilitator, functionary, friend or foe? Studying the role of iPads within learning activities across a school year

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Anne-Marie Mann, Uta Hinrichs, Janet C. Read, Aaron John Quigley

School/Research organisations


We present the findings from a longitudinal study of iPad use in a Primary school classroom. While tablet devices have found their way into classroom environments, we still lack in-depth and long-term studies of how they integrate into everyday classroom activities. Our findings illustrate in-classroom tablet use and the broad range of learning activities in subjects such as maths, languages, social sciences, and even physical education. Our observations expand current models on teach- ing and learning supported by tablet technology. Our findings are child-centred, focusing on three different roles that tablets can play as part of learning activities: Friend, Functionary, and Facilitator. This new perspective on in-classroom tablet use can facilitate critical discussions around the integration and impact of these devices in the educational context, from a design and educational point of view.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Print)9781450333627
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2016
EventCHI'16 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 7 May 201612 May 2016


CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA
Internet address

    Research areas

  • Young children, Tablets, Classrooms, Evaluation, Education

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ID: 240893216