1st Edition

Understanding Tablets from Early Childhood to Adulthood
Encounters with Touch Technology

ISBN 9781138229433
Published May 16, 2017 by Routledge
106 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

USD $46.95

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Book Description

Understanding Tablets from Early Childhood to Adulthood offers an alternative to dominant and populist narratives that young people are intuitively able to successfully use tablet devices. Adopting a research-driven approach, the book contests the ideology that touch-technologies are easier to understand, and identifies the factors that contribute to communicative encounters between users and tablets. Communication theory and cognitive psychology concepts and methods are employed to offer an epistemological exploration of user-tablet interaction with a focus on the use of these technologies in educational settings.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Studying Tablets

Chapter 2: Proposing a Model of User-Tablet Communication

Chapter 3: How Tablet Technology Influences User-Tablet Communication

Chapter 4: How the Mind Influences User-Tablet Communication

Chapter 5: Tablets as a Form of Screen Learning

Chapter 6: Tablets as a Form of "Hands-On" Learning

Chapter 7: User-Tablet Communication – A Complete Model

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Rhonda McEwen is Canada Research Chair in Tactile Interfaces, Communication & Cognition and Associate Professor of New Media & Communication at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Adam Dubé is Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences at McGill University.


The studies reviewed and conducted by McEwan and Dubé are invaluable in revealing both the potential and the need for careful design in deploying tablets in education. The careful cognitive analyses within this book show that although the intuitions of developers have not always been on target, tablets certainly have the potential to be used effectively for educational purposes. Given that costs are decreasing as capabilities are increasing, tablets seem certain to be a component of education in the future, so it is essential to determine which pedagogical approaches can benefit, and how.

— Jonathan Grudin, Principal Researcher at Microsoft and Affiliate Professor, University of Washington Information School