From Socrates to Satellites: iPad Learning in an Undergraduate Course


Finding, evaluating and using information are necessary skills for the 21st century college student to engage in critical thinking and problem-solving. This qualitative study was conducted during the fall of 2011 at a major research institution in an undergraduate face-to-face course entitled Multicultural Education. Professors designed a course to practice these skills outside and inside the classroom. Students were randomly assigned to the problem-solving class (17) and the traditional class (18) studying multicultural education for teacher education. The iPads were issued to the students in August of 2011 to be used not only in the Multicultural Education course, but students were also encouraged to use the devices in all of their courses throughout the fall and spring semesters. Students were expected to watch videos, read assignments and complete other course assignments before coming to class to engage in problem-solving using their iPads. This paper presents observational and survey data related to students and professor engaging in problem-solving activities.

Share and Cite:

Wakefield, J. & Smith, D. (2012). From Socrates to Satellites: iPad Learning in an Undergraduate Course. Creative Education, 3, 643-648. doi: 10.4236/ce.2012.35094.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Blackboard, Inc. (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2012 from
[2] George, S., & Serna, A. (2010). Introducing mobility in serious games: Enhancing situated and collaborative learning. In J. Jacko (Ed.), Human-computer interaction: Users and applications. New York, NY: Springer Science + Business Media.
[3] Haythornthwaite, C., & Andrews, R. (2011). E- Learning theory and practice. London: Sage.
[4] Hofer, M., & Swan, K. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge in action: A case study of a middle school digitial documentary project. Journal of Research on Technology in Education. 41(2), 179-200.
[5] Lee, H., & Hollebrands, K. (2008). Preparing to teach mathematics with technology: An integrated approach to developing technological pedagogical content knowledge. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 8(4). Retrieved from:
[6] Morrison, F., & Jeffs, T. (2005). Outcomes of preservice teacher’s technology use. Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, 2(1), 1-8.
[7] Murray, O., & Olcese, N. (2011). Teaching and learning with iPads, ready or not? TechTrends. 55(6), 1-7.
[8] Pachler, N., Bachmair, B., & Cook, J. (2010). Mobile learning: Structures, agency, practices. New York, NY: Springer Science + Business Media.
[9] Potter, N. (2012). Apple to remake textbooks, inspired by Steve Jobs. abcNEWS. Retrieved from
[10] Rosen, L., Carrier, L., & Cheever, N. (Eds). (2010). An explosion of WMDs: Wireless mobile devices. Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the way they learn. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
[11] Sharples, M., Taylor, J., & Vavoula, G. (2005). Towards a theory of mobile learning. University of Birmingham, UK.
[12] Staff Writers. (2012, February 8). 18 enlightening iPad experiments in education [Web log post]. Retrieved from
[13] Traxler, J. (2009). The evolution of mobile learning. In Guy, R. (Ed.), The evolution of mobile teaching and learning (pp. 1-14). Santa Rosa, CA: Informing Science Press.
[14] Vratulis, V., Clarke, T., Hoban, G., & Erickson, G. (2012). Additive and disruptive pedagogies: The use of slowmation as an example of digital technology integration. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27, 1179-1188.
[15] Young, C., & Bush, J. (2004). Teaching the English language arts with technology: A critical approach and pedagogical framework. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 4(1), 1-22.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.