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Scholarship student wanted for learning & tablet technology

7 September 2012

Summer Research Scholarship student wanted to look at learning and tablet technology

A University of Waikato researcher is looking for a Summer Research Scholarship student to help him explore the impact of using digital tablet technology in primary school reading programmes.

Faculty of Education researcher Dr Garry Falloon has been looking at the affect using iPads has on the reading-learning of a group of 18, 5-6 year olds at Leamington Primary School in Cambridge.

The research is an evidence-based investigation into the link between using specifically selected apps delivered via digital tablet technology, and the effect this can have on children’s learning in reading, and key competency development.

Dr Falloon is looking for a Summer Research Scholarship student to compare a range of data across two groups - one using iPads in their reading programme and one using more conventional resources. They will be involved in analysing interviews made with the children and completing video data analysis.

“In 2010 I was doing some work on behalf of Microsoft looking at the design and content of digital learning objects and the effect using these in small groups had on students’ levels of thinking and their interactions with each other, and out of that grew the realisation that there are elements that foster or contribute to learning certain key competencies that could be applied to this study”.

Dr Falloon has been conducting interviews and gathering screen-recorded data from the two groups at Leamington Primary school for two hours every week, since July. Data collection will continue until the end of the year.

“This research aims to gather evidence of what teachers have known for some time but haven’t really had the data to prove – that the apparent engagement and motivation of students when using these technologies is really helping them learn.”

Ten-week summer research scholarships are available for more than 60 topics under the University of Waikato Summer Research Scholarship scheme. The scholarships are worth up to $5,000 and students complete their research over the summer study break. Applications are open to undergraduate and first-year Masters students from anywhere in New Zealand.

For more information on this scholarship opportunity, contact Garry Falloon at falloong@waikato.ac.nz.

Please visit the Scholarships webpage to apply online.

ENDS

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