Supporting teachers to integrate tablet technology in the Junior Cycle classroom
The SmartClass project addresses the challenges of integrating tablet technology into classroom practice at Junior Cycle level. Intel have funded a prize to provide a tablet device to an entire first year cohort of Junior Cycle students with curriculum content for all subjects pre-loaded on it. CASTeL are responsible for providing professional development to the teachers, examining teacher’s pedagogical practices and evaluating the benefits, to both the teacher and the students, of the integration of tablet technology in classroom practice. In order for teachers to effectively integrate technology into classroom practice, several challenges have been identified, which include hardware, software, administration and support. However, teachers own beliefs and attitudes towards technology and pedagogy have been identified as intrinsic barriers specific to each teacher that must also be addressed. The Smartclass project brings together Intel, CASTeL and an Irish Second level school to collaboratively address all of these challenges.