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MirandaNet Fellowship Casestudy

Membership List | Publications | Research | Specialist Area List | Braided Learning Ejournal

The iPod Trial Program at McCarthy Catholic College

Keith Heggart

Year of posting: 2010


This paper explores the use of iPod Touches within a Catholic systemic high school setting in New South Wales, Australia. Unlike previous examples which have explored the concept  of m-learning (mobile learning) from the perspective of student achievement in standardized tests, this study explored student motivation and engagement in the use of the devices. This report identified that students were significantly more motivated to learn mathematics when they were using the devices, and significant numbers of students felt that they were learning more when they were using devices as opposed to when they were not. However, contextual factors were important as well, considering the relative level of the students and the appropriateness of the apps (applications) being used.



Traditionally, the implementation of technology has had a troubled history in schools. These areas of concern have often included issues related to the technical side of the implementation, and the burgeoning costs of such implementation, but they are just as likely to have involved matters relating to staff professional development, too. In addition, there are concerns related to the level of access - and the appropriateness of content and interaction - that are linked to greater use of technology within schools. There have been numerous examples of schools and other educational institutions that have attempted to implement a technological innovation in an educational setting, but have come across unforeseen problems which have meant either the adaptation or even the abandonment of the program. Equally, despite the insistence by some parties about the educational benefits of technology, the research is still, at this stage, ambiguous and for every positive project there seems to be an equally negative example.In this context, school systems and principals rightly approach new technological innovations within their schools with a degree of wariness, especially when one considers the fact that generally, technological innovation is an expensive business, both in terms of hardware and software, as well as human resources.

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