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Teachers Learning to Use the iPad in Scotland and Wales: A New Model of Professional Development

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JEFTIRP Volume 41, Number 2, ISSN 0260-7476


In learning to use a new technology like the iPad, primary teachers adopt a diverse range of experiential, informal and playful strategies contrasting sharply with traditional models underpinning professional development which emphasise formal courses and events led by "experts" conducted in formal settings such as the school. Since post-PC devices like the iPad have been linked with transformational educational learning, there is an imperative to better understand how teachers can be encouraged to use them more effectively. Despite their growing popularity in schools, there is little research to indicate how and under what circumstances teachers learn to integrate these technologies into their daily practices. This paper uses data collected from two national studies of iPad use in Scotland and Wales to propose a new model of professional development. This model reflects findings that the teachers reject traditional models of sequential, or staged, professional development (often led by external providers or "experts"), in favour of a more nuanced and fluid model where they learn at their own pace, in a largely experiential fashion, alongside their pupils in a relationship which reverses the traditional power nexus. The model has the potential to inform professional development for both trainee and serving teachers in learning to use the iPad in the primary classroom.


Beauchamp, G., Burden, K. & Abbinett, E. (2015). Teachers Learning to Use the iPad in Scotland and Wales: A New Model of Professional Development. Journal of Education for Teaching: International Research and Pedagogy, 41(2), 161-179. Retrieved April 14, 2021 from .

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