Investigating Elementary School Teachers’ Attitudes Toward and Use of STEM-Based Apps
Global initiatives have directed education to emphasize science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The purpose of this study was to assess elementary school teacher attitudes and behaviours with respect to using STEM-based apps in the classroom. This mixed-methods study involved 34 teacher-participants (14 males, 20 females) integrating a total of 24 apps with 1181 students. Teachers claimed that the overall impact of apps was to improve engagement and learning. App lessons took, on average, an extra 10 minutes to prepare for, and were approximately one hour in length. Over 90% of the teachers were comfortable using the apps, liked the support material provided by the app, and believed the app lessons were conducted effectively. The primary teaching strategy was to allow students to explore new concepts individually or in pairs, although some teachers presented apps or used them for either homework or reviewing concepts. Eighty to ninety percent of teachers rated the STEM-Based apps highly in terms of design, engagement, and learning value. Problem areas included difficulty level, technical issues, time, and clarity of explanations.