Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Tablets in Education: Outcome Expectancy and Anxiety of Middle School Students*

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Tablets in Education: Outcome Expectancy and Anxiety of Middle School Students*

Article excerpt

As technology has continued to advance at such a rapid pace over recent decades, educational and instructional techniques have undergone constant change based on these advancements. Thus, the use of computers and technological devices in education has gradually become more and more widespread. Following this trend, throughout Turkey, 570,000 classrooms within kindergarten, primary, middle and high schools are planned to receive LCD panel interactive whiteboards and Internet infrastructure through the FATIH Project, administered by the Ministry of National Education. Moreover, all teachers and students are planned to receive tablet PCs with middle school students to receive tablets within the third year of the project, and with students from other grades to receive later (FATIH Projesi, 2013). The project's underlying assumption is that students will use the tablets as intended. Yet, as it is argued " successful investment in technology can lead to enhanced productivity, while failed systems can lead to undesirable consequences such as financial losses and dissatisfaction" (Venkatesh, 2000, p. 342). In this respect, therefore, investigating middle school students' acceptance of tablets becomes important since the outcomes of such studies can provide clues as to the quality of how tables will actually be used upon introduction to the education process. While a significant body of research exists on the use of technological innovations and systems, such as TAM (Davis, Bagozzi, & Warshaw, 1989) and models of PC utilization (Thompson, Higgins, & Howell, 1991, 1994), literature on middle school students' acceptance of tablets is scarce. This study is an attempt to identify to what extent students accept using tablets by examining factors influencing students' outcome expectancy and anxiety.

Computer based education (CBE), a concept superior even to tablets, supports learning by allowing students to synthesize information audio-visually (Çekbas, Yakar, Yildirim, & Savran, 2003; Morgil, Yavuz, Oskay, & Arda, 2005). CBE allows for the utilization of laptops, tablets, and smart phones/pdas along with many other alternatives. It is being debated that CBE supports comprehension rather than memorization which therefore enhances student achievement as compared to traditional instruction (Çekbas et al., 2003). Moreover, just as it provides opportunities for instruction to be customized for individual diversities, so are students able to repeat lessons in CBE. Nevertheless, one of the disadvantages of CBE is that the software and technology used by it is still not flexible enough and is unable to fully respond to instant qualitative data and needs (Morgil et ah, 2005). In the same vein, tablet PCs are not immune to such shortcomings.

The screen sizes of such tools have been the subject of many research studies, gauging their appropriateness for education. Just as it is commonly understood that laptop screens can pose a barrier between students and the instructor; so are smart phones/ PDAs' screens too small to write on in an efficient manner. It can therefore be argued that tablets, due to their larger screen size, are more suitable to serve as instructional tools in the classroom (Cicchino & Mirliss, 2004). However, tablets can pose other challenges for education, especially problems of comprehending information when reading from the screen. Both positive and negative opinions can be found in the literature on tablet use. For instance, a study was conducted on reading from tablet screens on 100 pre-service Turkish language teachers in Turkey. The results showed that teachers have both optimistic and pessimistic insights about reading from a tablet screen. Teachers think that reading from the screen helps them easily reach resources/ publications, effectively make use of time, retain learning, and increase motivation for reading. On the other hand, they think that it negatively affects human social development, reading habits, and health (Maden, 2012). …

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