background & methodology

June 2, 2015Farah


I first found out that there was a class set of iPads from Cathy & that these were there for me to use. I took them into class for the first time as I thought that if Cathy was recommending them then I should give it a go.

I felt very nervous that first time. I was nervous about using the iPads, knowing how to sign in and out, how to access the wifi – all these barriers before I even started to look at how to use them for ESOL. This first time I used the iPads as an extention to a lesson on families – I asked the students to research someone on line that they looked up to. They used the iPads to share and discuss their research with each other. I found that some students were very confident in using the iPads, and I paired these with the less confident students.

Unfortunately this is where my initial exploration ended. Observation season started and I didn’t think about the iPads again until I saw the opportunity to do the action research project within the college. At this time I didn’t think that I would be able to apply, so I was really really happy when Cathy asked me if I was interested and offered to support me in writing the application.

I had never done anything like this before, I am new to teaching and I’m still getting my head around exams!

Getting Started 1

My initals questions were:

  1. Do students have access to thier own mobile technologies?
  2. Do students have wifi at home? Do they know how to access the college wifi?
  3. Will students be motivated to want to learn to use an iPad

I had some assumptions:

  • that my students WOULDN’T/DIDN’T have access to technologies outside of the class
  • that my students didn’t know how to use mobile technologies
  • I could motivate them to learn about iPads by showing them how using mobile technology can help with their kids homework

I had my own barriers too. I didn’t feel very confident in knowing how to use the iPads. We have an iPad at home but my daughter uses it & I never get to see it! It was great when Cathy offered me the opportunity to borrow an iPad. This meant I could go home and explore different apps for ESOL, get used to how the iPad and the apps work and be more confident with my students.

At this stage I went away to explore my own iPad.

Getting started 2

At the next meeting we went through the settings again and my confidence was really growing. We discusssed again what I wanted from my action research project:

I wanted my students to explore the technology (the iPads) but I didn’t want it coming from me – I didn’t want to say “use this, it’s good for your learning”. I wanted it to be self directed.

I had this question:

Why are the iPads useful for students?


The solution was – take the iPads into class and let the students explore. I can observe what they already know and support them (because I was now more confident)



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