Tablets and Trees: Equipping Forestry Students with Mobile Tools for Learning in and Out of Classroom | Des tablettes et des arbres: équiper les étudiants en foresterie d'outils mobiles pour apprendre en et hors de la salle de classe

Michael Paskevicius, Liesel Knaack


This paper presents the case of how a department of applied science went about implementing a tablet initiative in a two-year diploma program. Tablets were a required tool for entry into the program with a goal of reducing textbook purchase costs for students, mirroring industry standard practices in mobile device usage, and enabling collaborative and active learning in the classroom. Based on surveys, interviews, and classroom observations we found that the integration of tablets, when explicitly positioned as a teaching and learning tool supported new forms of peer-to-peer collaboration, encouraged the use of open educational resources, and shifted traditional classroom dynamics reformulating the division of labour between faculty and students. Using activity theory as a lens for the analysis, we examine how the introduction of this tool changes the system of activity and impacts the division of labour, community, and rules both within and beyond the classroom.

Cet article présente la façon dont un département de sciences appliquées a mis en œuvre un projet d’intégration de tablettes dans un programme de deux ans menant à un diplôme. Les tablettes étaient requises pour entrer dans le programme, et ce, afin de réduire les coûts d'achat de manuels scolaires, de refléter les pratiques courantes de l'industrie en ce qui concerne l'utilisation des appareils mobiles, et de faciliter un apprentissage collaboratif et actif en classe. En nous basant sur des sondages, des entrevues et des observations en classe, nous avons constaté que l'intégration des tablettes, explicitement positionnées comme outils d'enseignement et d'apprentissage, favorisait de nouvelles formes de collaboration entre pairs, encourageait l'utilisation de ressources éducatives libres et modifiait la dynamique traditionnelle des salles de classe en redéfinissant la division du travail entre professeurs et étudiants. En nous appuyant sur la théorie de l’activité, nous examinons comment l'introduction de cet outil modifie le système 



tablet initiative; mobile learning; applied science; activity theory; collaborative learning tools; fieldwork learning

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