The Impact of Interactive Touchscreens in Physics Education in Upper Secondary School : A systematic literature review

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologiLinköpings universitet/Utbildningsvetenskap

Abstract: Interactive touchscreens such as tablet PCs (TPC) and interactive whiteboards (IWB) are becoming more and more common in classrooms around the world. To date, very little research has been conducted on the impact of the new technology on physics education. This systematic literature review aims to investigate research on what impact tablet PCs and interactive whiteboards might have on the education in upper Secondary School. The review was performed in response to the following questions: 1. What is the influence of IWBs and TPCs on students’ active participation in physics education? 2. How can an IWB or TPC improve students’ learning about physics concepts? 3. How can educational research on touchscreen technology help inform effective teaching strategies in physics education? To respond to the questions of the study, relevant research about interactive whiteboards and/or tablet PCs was consulted and analysed. Twelve articles were located, mainly through the ERIC and Scopus databases, but also through Google Scholar. The included articles reported empirical research about physics education with interactive whiteboards or tablet PCs. The results from the articles indicate that interactive touchscreens might help improve learners’ active participation in physics education. Interactive whiteboards can, for example, be used to display interactive simulations during group work, something students are found to appreciate and easily engage in. A tablet PC can be used in the same way, but also allows students to receive anonymous support and feedback from the teacher during class which seems to be beneficial for learning. Results show that it is possible to improve students’ understanding of physics concepts by using interactive whiteboards or tablet PCs. However, further research is required to compare results from students using touch technology and students taught in traditional manner to be able to draw any general conclusions about observed learning effects. 

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