This week, the Quebec guru of the integration of ICT in pedagogy published the results of his survey on the integration of iPads in schools. Indeed, Thierry Karsenti, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Technologies in Education, published The iPad at school: uses, advantages and challenges: results of a survey of 6,057 students and 302 teachers in Quebec.
Several points hold my attention, starting with the fact that the book was published last Monday and that the same day, several players in the world of education had already read it in its entirety. This demonstrates the ever-faster aspect of the snapshot. As if what could be immediate, could be more … Nevertheless, this proves that the amalgamation of digital publishing and social media has an effective and above all, efficient strike force.
The report, as such, gives ammunition to all stakeholders in the world of education; as much to the detractors of the integration of ICT in pedagogy as to technopedagogues. The best example is certainly the article that appeared in La Presse two days after the publication of the research results of the study. Journalist Michael Oliviera had the brilliant idea of captioning his short article as follows: One in three students plays on their iPad in class . Failing to inform us adequately about the research of Mr. Karsenti, the journalist gives us a lesson in journalism on the art of picking up obvious information to publish it out of context in a treacherous, tendentious, demagogic and misleading way.
(…) An astonishing 99% [of the students] said they found the technological tool distracting (…)
Obviously, almost all students find the iPad distracting. This is the very principle of the tool! With its integration into teaching, we aim, among other things, to combine a student’s personal tool to make him discover the “professional” aspects that will be useful to him in his profession as a student. We aim to integrate the school directly into his personal student sphere. It is obvious that he will be distracted! Not only can he use his textbooks on his iPad in addition to using various subject-specific applications, but he can also go on Facebook, text his friends, etc. Needless to say, adolescence is particularly marked by the need to socialize among students, so it is obvious that the iPad in the classroom will be used for this purpose. The student will always find a tool to communicate with his class neighbor. Just think of the little piece of paper that was circulating when we were students. Unfortunately, the article in La Presse does not deal with the importance of training teachers in classroom management with such a device, an information omnipresent in the Karsenti report.
A third of Quebec students surveyed on the use of the iPad in class admitted to playing games during school hours (…)
This is probably the most insignificant comment I have read in an article on the integration of ICT in pedagogy. This stating the obvious highlights the first use that the pupils recognized of the iPad: the game. It should come as no surprise that they want to play with the device. However, the statement falsely suggests that a third of the students do just that! As if they were playing all the time of their school day… School hours include breaks and students mainly play at this time. But that doesn’t mean they play in class. However, let’s be realistic. It is obvious that many students play during the class and waste their time. But, in classes without iPad, these same students would sketch or draw in their notebooks, daydreaming or wasting their time in different ways. The problem is not the iPad but the unmotivating teaching strategies employed by some teachers. It seems important to me to refocus the problem.
(…) Although only a few students said they felt that a computer tablet helped them learn better (…)
The magic of education is when students learn without realizing it. Often, students associate learning with a boring, painful and suffering process when there is a plethora of ways to promote learning through different forms of play. Playful learning, through fun, humor, it exists. It seems that many are unaware of it, starting with the journalists. Before writing such a sentence in a newspaper with a national circulation, would it not be necessary to clarify which learning is favored? And for me, learning is through creativity, curiosity, etc., and not just through assimilating or swallowing disciplinary content. Unfortunately, the general public does not recognize this and, once again,sic ). The iPad allows the learning of many skills of various orders transcending the transversal and disciplinary skills in the program. It is not to be overlooked.
According to the survey, 70% of teachers surveyed had “never or very rarely” used the iPad before their use was introduced in their classes, against 53.6% of their students surveyed.
The first iPad was released on the Canadian market in May 2010. Data collection from researchers in schools began in the fall of 2012 (p. 8). A year and a half elapsed between the launch of the device and this measure of its integration into the classroom. It is therefore not surprising that such a large proportion of students or teachers have never used it, especially given its selling price which does not make it the most accessible device for Quebec families. . If this information is relevant to research, how important is it to include it in such a journal article?
The advent of technologies in education is a revolution in the world of education. As the research quotes, this compares to the invention of the printing press (p. 4). I understand that a revolution upsets the established conservative forces which, very unfortunately, hold the monopoly of opinion in the world of education. Mr. Oliviera’s article only reinforces the negative stereotypes of the use of the iPad in the classroom by mainly addressing the challenges posed by its pedagogical integration rather than highlighting its advantages. While it is true that this integration needs to be improved, it should be realized that, in a very short time, certain visionary schools have done what is necessary to take the necessary technological turn, in all imperfection, of course, but at least they took it. Because at 21In this century, the worst way that the world of education can react to the challenges facing society is by standing still.
Karsenti, T. and Fievez, A. (2013). The iPad at school: uses, advantages and challenges: results of a survey of 6,057 students and 302 teachers in Quebec (Canada) . Montreal, QC: CRIFPE.
The report is available on the website Internet Karsenti.
OLIVIERA, M., One in three students plays on their iPad in class . Website accessible at http://techno.lapresse.ca/nouvelles/produits-electroniques/201312/11/01-4720088-un-eleve-sur-trois-joue-sur-son-ipad-en-classe.php . Site consulted on December 11, 2013.