Editor's comments

Tablet/iPads and smart phones are revolutionising communications and learning across the globe. We welcome research-based contributions which extend the knowledge base in this area. This is an area with huge scope for new research.


Areas for further research

The MESHGuide on Digital Books extends the evidence about the use of Tablets/iPads to support learning. More research in specific contexts is welcomed as is research from a wider range of countries.


Transferability 2 rating

Transferability - 2

The editors give this Guide a 2 rating. Including research from other countries may strengthen the evidence underpinning the guide.

Translational Research- levels used for MESHGuides

With thanks to Professor James O’Meara President International Council on Education for Teaching (www.icet4u.org):

—T1 - Local findings that have not been formally tested outside the area in which the research was undertaken.


Strength of Evidence

We suggest the evidence presented here is strong enough for teachers to consider implementing and testing the findings in their own classrooms. We welcome feedback and insights which might be tested through further research: email admin@meshguides.org.


Using Tablets effectively to enhance learning in schools

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Increased use of technology for learners across all subjects

The volume of technology use in a school expands significantly when students have a personal iPad but more importantly its use to support learning in lessons on a daily basis also increases enabling teachers to plan new and more creative types of activities they could not previously adopt.


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:



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