Studying Tablet PC use in Singapore Schools


Marie Bienkowski and others of SRI International are studying the use of Tablet PCs in Singapore schools.

In Phase 1, we studied one-to-one computing with Tablet PCs in the all-girls Crescent Girls’ School (CGS) and the all-boys Catholic High School (CHS). These schools have approximately 250 secondary students who have Tablet PCs and who had been using them for 5 (CHS) to 12 months (CGS) at the time of the study. Both schools have most of their textbooks digitized and are using Tablet PCs in most subjects.

They are describing the Tablet PC-based learning environment in order to learn about factors that support the success of the program, and to understand the role of the Tablet PC applications in the school setting.

Students used the Tablet PCs for organizing work, collaborating with others, communicating with teachers, and creating multimedia presentations and projects. They used Tablet PCs for doing their schoolwork more efficient.

Students also found the convenience of Tablets helpful in many learning practices.

Frequency of use in learning activities was related to learning across various subjects, student attitudes, and efficiency in schoolwork.

Interviews with teachers illustrate the importance of having time for them to create quality lessons that use the Tablet PC.

When teachers first start using the Tablet PC in school, they had questions about basic use, application use, classroom management, and hardware. As teachers become adept at Tablet PC use, their questions changed to understanding how to use the Tablet PC in specific lessons, and teaching traditional, high-achieving, and low-achieving students.

Several publications elaborate the study teams’ reported procedures and findings, including these:

Bienkowski, M. A., Haertel, G., Yamaguchi, R., Fujii, R., Gong, B., Molina, A., Adamson, F., & Peck-Theis, L. (2005). Singapore Tablet PC program study: Executive summary and final report, volume 2, technical appendicies. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

Bienkowski, M. A., Haertel, G., Yamaguchi, R., Molina, A., Adamson, F., & Peck-Theis, L. (2005). Singapore Tablet PC program study: Executive summary and final report, volume 1, technical findings. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

This review may seem familiar to readers of Tablet PC Education. It’s a rewrite of a previous post. I hope these revisions assist you design and evaluate your school’s mobile PC project.

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Robert Heiny
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in [I]The Encyclopedia of Education [/I](1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for [I]TuxReports[/I].com.