Provide learners with more choices

Agency - Personal ownership of a powerful device like the iPad empowers learners to be more independent but teachers need to engineer the conditions for this to flourish by:

  • Providing learners with more opportunities to decide how to undertake a task, where to work on the task and at what pace.
  • Developing greater trust with learners to be independent learners.
  • Considering how to trust learners to use the iPad to research and locate infomration for themselves, reducing the role of the teacher as 'information giver'.


Readiness to implement

Various factors were identified as necessary before a successful deployment of iPads/tablets is likely to be successful in a school context:

  • Teachers need to be equipped with their own personal iPad which they can learn to use through 'play' in advance of the full deployment
  • Traditional models of ICT training are less effective since the iPad is very intuitive. Teachers learn best through informal, show and tell activities and by forming their own self help communities (e.g. Teach Meets)



The iPad is a consumer device used increasingly in a corporate setting such as a school or college. Certain infrastructure issues were identified in this research which were highlighted as crucial for an effective deployment of iPads at scale:


Deployment patterns

iPads were deployed in one of three configurations:



  • Large scale case study conducted over six months (Jan-July 2012) in 8 schools across Scotland (3 primaries and 5 secondaries)
  • Sample included 365 students varying in age from P3 to S2, iPad teacher champions in each school and parents from each school
  • A mixed methods approach collecting both quantitative and qualitative data from students, teachers and parents. Methods included:
    • a baseline survey for students (n =) teachers (n= ) and parents (n=)
    • an exit survey for students (n = ) and parents (n = )


Using tablets effectively to enhance learning in schools

This MESH Guide is based on Kevin Burden, K., Hopkins, P., Dr Male, Dr. T., Martin, Dr. S., Christine Trala, C. 2012. iPad Scotland Evaluation. University of Hull. Available at: [Accessed 13th Dec 2014]

Using Tablets effectively to enhance learning in schools

Using iPads effectively to enhance learning in schools: Image



The case studies reinforce to the readers of this section the need to continue to improve assessment of LTLT competencies, through structured knowledge mobilization and enhanced approaches to strengthening and monitoring learning assessments.


Subscribe to MESHGuides RSS