Going Paperless: Student and Parent Perceptions of iPads in the Classroom

The classroom of today is digital; districts around the world are putting devices into the hands of each child. The Emerald Union School District is among those districts who have recently piloted a one-to-one iPad program in several of their grades 3-6 classrooms. This study was conducted in order to determine the perceptions of students and parents regarding the newly implemented iPad program. More specifically, this qualitative study surveyed fourth grade students and their parents in an effort to determine their perceptions of the iPad in relation to student motivation and learning. Further, the researcher looked to examine the relationship between motivation and learning. Results from the student survey suggest students perceive the iPad as an essential tool, contributing to their motivation and learning in school. Results from the parent survey indicate parents perceive the iPad as being a highly motivating tool for their student’s learning. In contrast to student’s perception however, parents were less inclined to see the iPad as an essential tool to their child’s education, rather suggesting that while parents feel technology is important they do not see the iPad as the necessary tool for their child’s education. Further study is needed in order to investigate the relationship between student motivation and learning. Additionally, the researcher suggests school districts, such as the Emerald School District, provide more parent education on the educational benefits and opportunity of the iPad in the classroom.