The Effects of iPads on Student Engagement in a Middle School Classroom

Date of Award

Winter 12-18-2020

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Aaron Peterson


The purpose of this Action Research was to identify whether or not iPads have an effect on off task behavior in middle school students and what teacher’s perspectives are of these off task behaviors. Four different middle school classrooms were observed during individual work time when they were using iPads and when they were not using iPads and the observations were then compared. A survey was given to teachers to learn their point of view. While the average percentage of time spent off task was comparable between the two, the spread of the data showed that iPads cause more off task behaviors in students. Generally, this is because the off task behaviors associated with iPads (playing games and streaming videos) is more covert than obvious off task behaviors such as talking or sleeping. Most teachers felt that iPads caused more off task behaviors or had no effect on their classrooms. Future research may include more detailed information such as the number of students in the class, the type of class, or the time of day.

Abstract only: No full text available.