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The ‘iPadagogy’ of Reading: Exploring the influence iPads have on student achievement and perceived learning and engagement in middle school reading.

The increase in accessibility and demand for portable computers and tablets has seen literacy in schools begin a metamorphic transformation. This change has, and still is, driven by the advances in modern digital technology and its growing acceptance, popularity and need, as the division between home use and that found in classroom learning environments is steadily diminishing. With such advances in technology comes also the evolution of the format and style of reading text. The far-reaching effects of this 21st century technology is in its infancy as researchers and educators alike, seek to understand how effective and efficient the introduction of multimodalities are to the engagement, comprehension and achievement of readers. Schools and institutions are faced with evaluating the current issue as to whether or not the impending technology is beneficial to reading instruction and thus adapted accordingly or accept the current method of reading instruction as being sufficient. Before educators adapt new methods and distance themselves from decade long traditional reading orthodoxy, there must be evidence based research that exhibits improvement in comprehension (Grant, 2004). Such research is supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Education who in 2014 invested millions of dollars over three years to fund teacher-led research, some of which was spent on improving literacy learning outcomes for students. Detailed literacy projects recently published by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (McDowall, 2015) outline the importance recent literature-related research has been in providing a foundation of cumulative body of knowledge, linking teaching and learning and in addressing themes of strategic importance to education in New Zealand. This small-scale experimental and exploratory mixed-methods research project documents the reading achievement of two groups of middle school students over a 5-week period, as well as the personal perceived learning and engagement experiences of the participants during this time. The study uses mixed methodology with quantitative data collected through quasi experimental testing and individual Likert scale survey. The quantitative data is supported by qualitative data, collected through four group interviews made up of three students- two groups from the treatment group and two from the control group. By focusing on the evolution of tablet computers into classroom environments and student learning, this research examines the extent of the influence iPads have on student’s reading achievement at a middle-school year level as well as their personal engagement and learning experiences.
Type of thesis
Roser, M. (2016). The ‘iPadagogy’ of Reading: Exploring the influence iPads have on student achievement and perceived learning and engagement in middle school reading. (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10800
University of Waikato
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