Published: Integration of iPads into a Japanese university English language curriculum

9 01 2013

Eli lecturers Marnie Brown, Joachim Castellano, Erin Hughes, and Alex Worth’s research on the integration of iPads at KUIS has been published in the December 2012 issue of The JALTCALL Journal.

Abstract follows:

Tablet computers are a growing trend in education that has been gaining momentum since the introduction of the Apple iPad in 2010. This paper presents a case study at a Japanese university that investigated the integration of iPads into an existing English language curriculum. It reports on the experience of teachers and students using this particular tablet for several learning tasks in a Freshman English course. The tablets were used as a presentation tool, digital handout, Internet browser, transcription recorder, and media playback device. Data gathered from the study describe benefits and drawbacks of using tablet computers in the Japanese university EFL context. In addition, teacher and student views on using tablets in class activities were gauged. The researchers used direct observations, video recordings of student use, and survey data from teachers and students. It also details the mobile applications that were used for the classroom tasks. While the iPads showed promise in collaborative projects involving media, connectivity, unfamiliarity, and incompatibility issues limited their effectiveness. Although only a few iPads were available for the study, the issues and results are considered from the perspective of tablet technology in general. Furthermore, the lessons learned here might provide additional insights into the broader implementation of mobile devices in language learning environments.