Use of iPads in the teaching and learning of science and mathematics in schools

Year: 2013

Author: Geer, Ruth, White, Bruce, Zeeger, Yvonne, Au, Wing, Barnes, Alan

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Tablet technologies and in particular iPads, have recently made significant inroads into being used in classrooms across South Australia. Their portability,  variety of apps and visual / touch interface  extends learning beyond the classroom and combined with student centred pedagogies and authentic learning experiences have the potential to afford new opportunities for learning (Goodwin, 2012,  Shuler, 2012) in science and mathematics . However as these Tablet devices have only been used in schools in significant numbers for a short period of time, there has been limited opportunity to research the underlying pedagogy and impact on student learning. Teachers and pre-service teachers need access to this research based evidence in order to be confident to work with these emerging technologies and make informed decisions about implementing them, a requirement in the National Professional Standards for Teachers.
This paper will report on a project that  investigated how tablets, and in particular iPads, were being used for teaching science and mathematics.  The project involved classes at different year levels across a variety of schools, both government and non-government. Particular attention was given to teachers’ pedagogy and what changes were made or needed to be made to ensure enhanced learning for students. A mixed method approach was used. Data was collected using online surveys with students and teachers, interviews with curriculum coordinators, IT managers and teachers and focus groups with students and parents. The SAMR Model (Puentedura, 2006) was used as a conceptual framework for the analysis of the data to indicate the level of integration of the technology in the science and mathematics classrooms. The findings provide insights into the effectiveness of these devices for enhancing student learning and  a range of pedagogies that can be used to support teachers and preservice teachers implementing these technologies into their classrooms.


Goodwin, K. (2012). Use of tablet technology in the classroom. NSW Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre, State of New South Wales Department of Education and Communities. Retrieved from

Shuler, C. (2012). iLearn11: An Analysis of the education category of the iTunes App Store. New York: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Retrieved from

Puentedura, R. (2006). Transformation, technology, and education. Retrieved from