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ESRI Working Paper No. 547
The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Dublin
In Ireland, the decision to introduce personal electronic devices (tablet computers) is made at the school level. This research examines the student voice regarding the benefits, drawbacks and potential of this technology in schools. As schools embrace more internet-connected technologies, the question of how schools deal with the topic of online safety becomes more pertinent. Students also discuss how their school teaches the importance of online safety. Qualitative focus group interviews were undertaken with students from lower and upper secondary levels based on a theoretical sample (to capture schools of differing ICT orientation) of ten schools across the Republic of Ireland. A key finding is that personal electronic devices provide teachers another means through which to actively engage students - provided other conditions (such as internet infrastructure, home connectivity, and effective professional development for teachers) are met. This study highlights how students can provide a valuable contribution to decision making by school management and policy makers in this area. This paper suggests that the performance of this new technology should be continually evaluated, especially during a time of rapid technological advancements.
student devices
ICT in schools
teaching and learning
online safety
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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