A New Zealand comparative case study investigated the impact of technological device use in literacy, over a three month period, for Year (Grade) 4-6 and Year 7-8 students. In school A (Year 4-6 students) data were gathered from two pairs of control matched classes, one of each pair of classes using technological devices; in school B (Year 7-8 students) comparisons were made pre and post technology use. In both schools, pre and post- standardised achievement data were analysed, along with classroom observations, student and teacher interview data. Whilst significant progress was made in student achievement, when compared with national average point score shifts (author, in press), of particular interest in this article are young adolescent students’ views about effective pedagogy and technology use. For adolescents, availability of devices made learning more: fun, time efficient, accessible outside of school hours; and enhanced their research and presentation of learning. At times, friends and classmates helped by sharing information and new ideas, but frequent talking and distractions hindered learning. However, the pedagogical actions of teachers (particularly explicit, focused teaching of literacy and technology knowledge strategies) and provision of choices, varied and active learning opportunities were perceived to make the greatest difference to student learning.
Australian Journal of Middle Schooling, 2016, 16 (1), pp. 4 - 15