IPADs In K-12 Schools: A Grounded Theory Study of Value

IPADs In K-12 Schools: A Grounded Theory Study of Value

Author: 
Mary Beth Townsend
Program of study: 
Ed.D./ET
Abstract: 
This qualitative grounded theory study investigated the value of iPads in K-12 schools when used in one-to-one ratios. The purpose of the study was to understand the perspectives of teachers using iPads in one-to-one ratios for teaching and learning in the classroom and administrators responsible for the implementation of these devices. The problem was that little was known about the value iPads bring to teaching and learning when used in one-to-one configurations. Two research questions guided this study: From the viewpoint of a teacher, what is the perceived value of iPads when used in one-to-one settings for learning and instruction? and: From the viewpoint of an administrator, what is the perceived value of iPads when used in one-to-one settings for learning and instruction? In one phase, phenomenological interviews captured the lived experiences of 16 teachers using iPads to implement instruction. In a separate phase, a focus group with five administrators discussed their perceptions of the educational value of iPads. The findings of this study were uncovered through the analysis of transcripts of the interviews with teachers and two focus group sessions. The data were analyzed and coded to better understand the phenomenon. Through this analysis, six themes and related subthemes were discovered. These themes were (1) ease of use, (2) district support, (3) teacher mindset, (4) student-centered learning, and (5) evidence of the SAMR model of technology use. These findings may be useful for teachers who use the devices and administrators in school districts considering the adoption of the devices.
Dedication: 
I want to dedicate this dissertation to my family. To my daughters, Stephanie Galyon and Teresa Woodward and my husband, Steve without your help and support this journey would never have been completed. To my best friend and sister, Jenny McComb, thank you for all your support and positive energy. To my parents, Lawrence and Colette Matthews, thank you for teaching me what it truly means to work hard and persevere. Finally, I would also like to thank my good friends, Shelly Thurnau, Kyle Hakala, and Mary K Faison who provided much needed encouragement at just the right times.
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to thank all of the subjects who volunteered their time to participate in this study. Without your willingness to participate, this study would not have been possible. I would also like to thank the superintendents who made it possible to contact teachers and administrators in the school districts. I am grateful for your appreciation of the value of research conducted within your districts. I would also like to thank my dissertation chair and mentor, Dr. Chris Roberts. Your unwavering support, guidance and pep talks were invaluable. To my committee members, Dr. Teresa Lao and Dr. Maria Navarro, I would like to extend a thank you for your attention to detail and hard work on my behalf. I owe thanks to my professors along the way who provided me with the background needed and the skills necessary to complete this dissertation. I would like to thank my school district for their support in this dissertation. First, by providing me with a classroom set of iPads, I was set on a journey to explore the benefits and struggles of iPad use in one-to-one settings. I would also like to thank my colleagues and former students. I have learned so much from you about educational technology. You have opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about the value and struggles of using technology in the classroom.