Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE)
Vol. 4(2), pp. 52-58, August, 2014
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.44.4.2
Secondary School Students’ Views in a Village School about the Use of
Tablet Computers in Science Course
Zehra Kucukaydin
Giresun University, Institude of Science
Aykut Emre Bozdogan*
Giresun University, Faculty of Education
Pinar Ozturk
Giresun University, Institude of Science
Article history
Received:
04.04.2014
Received in revised form:
19.04.2014
Accepted:
21.04.2014
Key words:
Tablet computer, Secondary
School, Students’ Views,
Science Course
FATIH project is a project signed between the Ministry of Education and
the Ministry of Transportation in November, 2010 and put into practise to
foster technological development in education and benefit from
Information Technologies (IT) in the best way. This paper discusses the
views of secondary school students about the use of tablet computers in
Science course. The study was conducted using a survey, one of the
descriptive research methods. Total 104 students studying in 5th, 6th, 7th,
and 8th grades and chosen randomly from a secondary school in a village
located in Dereli district, Giresun participated in the study which was
carried out in 2013-2014 education year. The data of the research was
obtained from a questionnaire developed by the researchers. The
questionnaire was composed of two sections: 6 close -ended and 3 openended questions. The close-ended questions were analysed statistically
and the open-ended questions were analysed with content analysis. The
results of the study revealed that although four out of five students did not
have a computer and nearly half of them did not often use a computer,
95% of them supported the use of tablet computers in science course.
Students identified that science subjects would be fun and understood
better with the help of tablet computers, they would solve problems such
as bringing books and they would do research about a subject better. In
addition, students stated that tablet computers would damage eye health
and if they were used for games, they would prevent them from studying.
Introduction
Today information and communication age brings access to information and has
effects in every area of life.
Within this context, computers have become the most
indispensable components of information and technology era and understanding towards
education has also changed with its use. Its use in education field has been implemented with
interactive whiteboards and tablet PCs (Smith et al., 2005). It can be stated that interactive
whiteboards and tablet PCs have increased the number of sensory organs used during the
process, courses have become more fun with the use of different materials during teaching,
and learning has become more permanent. It can also be suggested that students’ research
* Correspondence: [email protected]
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 4(2); 52-58, 1 August, 2014
skills have developed and they need computers more with the development of IT (MEB,
2007; Hew & Brush, 2007; Akgün & Yılmaz & Seferoğlu, 2011; Kurt et al., 2013). Thus,
activities based on Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) have increased with the use of
computers in class environments.
Students do research by themselves and have access to information they want instantly with
the use of CAI in education. Moreover, CAI promotes student motivation as it enables each
student to work according to their own pace. The use of CAI has a profound importance as it
especially draws students’ attention in science courses and helps them to concretize abstract
information. In addition, effective learning is facilitated by showing experiments in computer
environment in the schools where CAI experiment materials are inadequate (Pektaş et
al.,2009; Cüre & Özdener, 2008; Birişçi & Karal, 2010; Koparan & Güven, 2012; Ulukök,
Çelik & Sarı, 2013). Within this context, a big educational project called FATIH project has
been put into practise in our country. FATIH project, a movement to increase opportunities in
education and benefit from IT at the highest level, aims to equip all classes in pre-schools,
primary and secondary schools with a laptop, projector, and an interactive whiteboard. At the
same time each teacher and student are given tablets. When the development levels of
primary and secondary school students is considered, they have difficulty in carrying their
schoolbags filled with books. The studies conducted reveal that tablet PCs would relieve
students load and they would have access to information instantly (Birişçi & Karal, 2010;
Koparan & Güven, 2012; Kamacı & Durukan, 2012; Pamuk et. al., 2013; Balcı, 2013). As
education is based on life-long learning, using technological tools such as tablet PCs in
education has become a necessity. Using these technologies in education has great
importance in order to train more qualified students who can internalize information (Kaya,
2010; Balcı, Kenar & Uşak, 2013; Balcı, 2013; Batur, Gülveren & Balcı, 2013; Kenar, Balcı
ve Gökalp, 2013). Science course is one of the main courses which uses tablet PCs.
The aim of science education is to enable students to make their learning more meaningful,
learn abstract concepts better, use what they have learned in daily life, and appreciate it.
Moreover, science education must contribute students to think creatively and analytically.
Tools have been developed in order to meet these requirements along with technological
developments. Students must be trained as science literate by using the developing
technology. Science literate individuals must understand the nature of this education and
generate solutions to the problems they encounter throughout their life by using technological
developments. Within this context, tablet PCs present students opportunities to study and
reach information everywhere (Yenice, Sümer, Oktaylar & Erbil, 2003; Ayvacı, Özsevgeç &
Aydın, 2004; Seferoğlu & Akbıyık, 2005 ; Musarurwa, 2011; Delen & Bulut, 2011; Kenar,
2012; Bakırcı & Çepni, 2012; Koparan & Güven, 2012; Sünkür et. al., 2012; Daşdemir et. al.,
2012; Çetinkaya & Keser, 2014).
It is important that students’ views towards tablet PCs must be known at length , so tablet PCs
can be effective and efficient in education because students will be engaged actively in
learning environment. Students’ views about tablet PCs will help us in science education no
matter how efficient they are. The purpose of the study is to explore secondary school
students’ views about the use of tablet PCs in science course.
Method
Survey , one of the descriptive research methods, was used in the study. A survey
study is a kind of research method which determines the views of participants about a subject
or an event and enables to work on much larger sample (Büyüköztürk et. al., 2012). Because
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Secondary School Students’ Views in a Village School…Z. Kucukaydin, A.E. Bozdogan & P. Ozturk
the secondary school students’ views about the use of tablet PCs in science course was going
to be examined, this method was chosen in the study. Total 104 students, 53 males and 51
females, studying in the 5th grade (N=17), 6th grade (N=24), and 8th grade (N=29) in a
secondary school in a village of Dereli district, Giresun, participated in the study. The data of
the research was gathered from a questionnaire developed by the researchers. The
questionnaire was composed of two sections: 6 close-ended questions and 3 open-ended
questions. The views of two experts were received for the content reliability of the
questionnaire and after necessary changes were made, the questionnaire was finalized. The
close-ended questions were analysed statistically and the open-ended questions were analysed
with content analysis.
Findings
Students’ having computers, frequency of using computers and purposes for using
computers were examined and presented in Table 1.
Table 1. Distribution of support by secondary school students for the use of tablet PCs in
science course in terms of different variables
Their conditions to support tablet
PCs
Yes
No
f
%
f
%
Variables
Having computer
Yes
No
17
82
16.3
78.9
1
4
1.0
3.8
Every day- 1-2 hours
Every week 1-2 hours
Every month 1-2 hours
I never use it.
3
54
19
23
2.9
52.0
18.3
22.1
0
3
2
0
0.0
2.9
1.9
0.0
Purposes for using computer
Education ( preparing homework, doing research and etc)
Social networking (Facebook, MSN, twitter and etc.)
Others (game, cartoon, film, music and etc)
TOTAL
74
9
16
99
71.2
8.7
15.4
95,0
4
0
1
5
3.8
0
1.0
5,0
Frequency of using computers
When Table 1 is examined, it is revealed that 83% of the students participating in the study
did not have a computer, 55 % of them used computers every week for one or two hours, and
22 % of them never used computers. When students’ purposes for using computers are
examined, it is found that 75 % of the students used computers for education, nearly 9% of
them used it for social media and nearly 16 % of them used it to play games, watch cartoons,
and listen to music and etc. When students’ support for tablet PC is examined, 95 % of them
supported the use of tablet PC in science courses, but 5% of them did not support it.
Table 2. Frequency Distribution of Secondary School Students’ Reasons for Wanting to Use
Tablet PCs in Science Course
Why tablet Pcs?
1. To study science course with more fun and increase our performance
2. Heavy school bags
3. Science course become much more clear with the visuals
-54-
Student
f
%
44
38.5
35
33.7
19
18.3
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 4(2); 52-58, 1 August, 2014
4. To write and erase something easily
5. Do research more easily and learn something new
6. To prepare our homework easily
7. To learn how to use computer
8. To engage in science course actively
9. To be more prepared for science course
11
4
4
2
1
1
10.6
3.8
3.8
1.9
0.9
0.9
When Table 2 is examined, the reasons for students’ wanting to use tablet PCs can be listed as
follows: “We can study science course with more fun and increase our performance (38,5%)”,
Our bag is heavy (33.7)”, “Science course become much more clear with the visuals
(18.3%)”, and “it is easy to write and erase something easily (10.6%)”.
Table 3. Frequency Distribution of Secondary School Students’ Views about the Advantages
of Tablet PCs in Science Course
Advantages
1. It can make us understand the subjects better and improve and progress faster.
2. It can enable us to do more research about the course and question it.
3. It can enable us to reach information which we are curious about science in a short
time.
4. It can enable us to do our homework with fun and more quickly
5. We can revise the subjects more and solve more questions.
6. It is easy to carry and it can help us get rid of the textbooks.
7. It can enable us to watch videos about science.
8. We can do experiments on table PCs.
9. Tablet PC enables us to write something easily.
10. We can be more active in the lesson.
11. Sometimes we forget our books at home, but we cannot forget our tablet PC.
12. We can see the writings and the colours more clearly on a tablet PC.
13. It would be better for ours peers who do not have school bags.
14. It can decrease cutting of trees.
15. We can learn the life stories of scientists by using a tablet PC.
16. We can correct if we make mistakes.
Student
f
%
42
40.4
19
18.3
16
15.4
10
10
10
8
6
4
3
3
2
2
1
1
1
9.6
9.6
9.6
7.7
5.8
3.8
2.9
2.9
1.9
1.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
When Table 3 is examined, the students stated the following expressions about using tablet
PCs in science course: “ “It can make us understand the subjects better and improve and
progress faster (40.4%), “It can enable us to do more research about the course and question
it (18.3%)”, “It can enable us to reach information which we are curious about science in a
short time(15.4%)”, “It can enable us to do our homework with fun and more quickly
(%9.6)”, “We can revise the subjects more and solve more questions (%9.6)” and “It is easy
to carry and it can help us get rid of the textbooks (%9.6)” .
Table 4. Frequency Distribution of Secondary School Students’ Views about the
Disadvantages of Tablet PCs in Science Course
Disadvantages
1. When we use tablet PCs more than we need, they can cause eye problems.
2. We may play games constantly and we won’t study our lessons.
-55-
Student
f
%
35
33.7
24
23.1
Secondary School Students’ Views in a Village School…Z. Kucukaydin, A.E. Bozdogan & P. Ozturk
3. Tablet PCs do not have any disadvantages.
4. Tablet PCs emit radiation.
5.Tablet PCs may distract students and teachers because they are interested in
other things.
6. Tablet PCs may cause addiction.
7. Students may connect to the social networks and they can lose interest in
lessons.
8. We can watch cartoons and listen to music on Tablet PCs.
9. Tablet PCs may break down if we use them for other things.
10. They can reduce our reading habits.
11. Tablet PCs may run out of battery.
12. If we sit in front of it for a long time, it was cause backache.
13. They can reduce social interaction between the students.
14. If there is a power cut, we can not take notes but we can take notes on our
books.
15. The electric bill very high.
16. We cannot understand as thoroughly as we understand from our books.
21
9
9
20.2
8.7
8.7
9
8
8.7
7.7
6
4
4
3
2
2
1
5.8
3.8
3.8
2.9
1.9
1.9
0.9
1
1
0.9
0.9
When Table 4 is examined, the students stated that using tablet PCs in science courses may
have some disadvantages. The disadvantages are listed as follows: “When we use tablet PCs
more than we need, they can cause eye problems 33.7%)”, “We may play games constantly
and we won’t study our lessons.8.7%), “Tablet PCs may distract students and teachers
because they are interested in other things (8.7%) and “Tablet PCs may cause addiction (8.7
%)”. Moreover, 20% of the students stated that tablet PCs did not have any disadvantages.
Results And Discussion
Distribution of tablet PCs have been effective in increasing the technology use in
education as well as the introduction of FATIH project in education in 2010. When it is
examined in this respect, the students’ views who are the main users of tablet PCs distributed
with in the context of FATIH project are important in terms of the practitioners (Pamuk et.
al., 2013; Sünkür et. al., 2012). According to the results of the study, although nearly four out
of five students studying in a secondary school in a village did not have a computer and
nearly half of them used computers rarely or never used it, it is discovered that 95% of them
supported the use of tablet PCs in science education. The main reason why students wanted
tablet PCs to be used in science course is that the course would be more fun; therefore, they
would increase their performance (38.5%) and their bags were too heavy (33.7%).
Students stated the following advantages when tablet PCs were used in science course:
“Subjects would be understood better and they would progress faster (40.4%), “They would
enable them to do more research and question (18.3%)” and “They can enable them to reach
information which they are curious about science in a short time (15.4%) . The students also
stated that using tablet PCs in science course had some disadvantages. The disadvantages are:
“If used more, tablet PCs can cause eye problems (33.7%)” and “If games are played
continuously, students won’t study their lessons (23.1%)” Moreover, it was determined that
20% of the students stated that tablet PCs did not have any disadvantages.” The results of this
study carried out with secondary school students show parallelism with the studies carried out
with science teachers (Daşdemir et. al., 2012) and the pre-service science teachers (Uzoğlu &
Bozdoğan, 2012). Within this context, the studies which will be conducted in different
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 4(2); 52-58, 1 August, 2014
courses with different samplings such as teachers, pre-service teachers, administrators, and
students’ parents about the use of tablet PCs will detect the problems and also provide
important data for FATIH project to attain its goals.
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