OU Studies Student Tablet Use

By
Taylor Pool

Dateline
Updated Tue, May 22, 2012 2:57 pm

Two classes at Ohio University were given tablets equipped with 4G/WiFi to use for an entire quarter, but not without a purpose. 

It was all part of a study on how students really use mobile devices. 
 
An undergraduate class, a graduate class and an Ohio Instructional Technology class partnered to complete the study.
 
Teresa Franklin, a professor in Instructional Technology, says OU's study is unique in that it didn't just look at how students liked and used a piece of technology.
 
"We really wanted to know about the total experience of a student using a tablet. Not just in the classroom, but when the teacher actually embeds it within work, and also when they're outside the classroom," said Franklin. "So, we really looked at it as a phenomenon of using a tablet within a setting."
 
Franklin says the study found there are differences in how undergraduates and graduates use the tablets.
 
"Graduates tend to not be as adventuresome in trying out different applications, but you also have to realize that graduates have families and so there's less time for them to do those kinds of things than undergraduates.  The undergraduates found lots of applications they could use with teamwork in a classroom, they were also very positive about embedding them in coursework and using e-books," said Franklin.
 
Each class was designed to use the tablets differently which allowed for more comprehensive results in the study.
 
The findings will appear in several publications, including a reference book on mobile technologies and use in higher education, to share the information with other educators. 
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