Teaching children with iPads means they become disinterested in lessons without technology, an expert has warned.
Schools which fail to embrace digital learning techniques in the classroom will find it increasingly difficult to capture the attention of children, according to Dr Patricia Davies, a senior lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton.
“I think we are getting to the stage where learning in a traditional setting is becoming more and more boring for young people and children,” she said. “We run the risk of losing a lot of them because they are not engaged.”
Dr Davies, an expert in computer science, said that while schools across the country are investing huge amounts of money in purchasing iPads and other digital tools for the classroom, teachers often do not know enough about the effect they have on children’s learning.
She studied the introduction of iPads at a preparatory school in south-east England for children in year four and year seven, and found that while children had more fun in lessons with iPads, they also struggled to concentrate without them.
Analysing the children’s responses to the use of iPads, she found that “it was easy for them to become disengaged and disinterested in classes that did not involve iPad use because ‘the lessons are boring and [we] find it hard to concentrate’.”
She concluded that the “excitement of these new digital technologies has the potential to prompt novel ways of teaching and learning”.
Dr Davies added that schools which invest in iPads need a better understanding about how they help children, and how they can be tailored to address their individual needs better.
However, she added: “While lauded for their educational potential, iPads can unsettle a school’s capacity to control pupils’ actions and behaviours. They also introduce a new set of practices that potentially require regulation.”
Her findings will appear in a new book, titled Enhancing Learning and Teaching with Technology, which will be published by University College London’s Institute of Education this week.