Expectations and challenges: the implementation of mobile devices in a Scottish primary school

Sarah Cornelius* (Corresponding Author), Rachel Shanks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


This paper provides a case study of the implementation of iPod Touches on a 1:1 basis in a Scottish primary school. It focuses on teachers’ expectations for the project and the realisation (or otherwise) of these expectations. Findings suggest that the iPods offered opportunities for resource provision, interactive learning and extension activities. Technical challenges impacted on what could be achieved and some expectations, including sharing of resources and pupil work, and use for assessment, were not fully realised. Teachers also reported that some expected issues were quickly overcome. The development of teacher confidence with the devices remained a challenge after twelve months and they continued to seek meaningful ways to implement devices in the classroom. This case study contributes to our understanding of the pedagogical impact of mobile devices in schools and highlights the ways in which they can quickly become a valued part of the classroom environment. It suggests that implementation may not necessarily be a linear process of moving from assimilation to accommodation, as suggested by Lebrun (2007), but that both phases may take place concurrently.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-31
Number of pages13
JournalTechnology, Pedagogy and Education
Issue number1
Early online date16 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note


Sincere thanks are due to all who have contributed to this study, which was funded in part by the Local Authority. The Head Teacher and Local Authority Officer have been instrumental in encouraging and supporting the research and the teachers and pupils at the school, along with several local authority support staff, have contributed directly. Colleagues from the University of Aberdeen, including Prof Do Coyle, Dr Yvonne Bain, and Phil Marston, helped to guide the project and provided useful feedback.


  • ipods
  • mobile learning
  • mobile devices in schools
  • implementation experiences


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