V. Fester

The Waikato Institute of Technology (NEW ZEALAND)
Since the end of the last millennium there have been tremendous advances in information and communication technologies (ICTs), together with increasing applications in education. Most higher education institutions in the developed world use a learning management system (LMS) as a learning and teaching platform, of which Moodle and Blackboard are well-known examples. In addition to learning how to use an LMS to facilitate learning and teaching, teachers in higher education are also increasingly embracing social media and mobile technologies in an effort to enhance both their teaching and their students’ learning (see, for example, Chemical Space, 2009; Williams, 2010). Teachers are, naturally, faced with a variety of choices and issues when it comes to deciding which technologies and mobile devices to adopt.

This paper will firstly introduce the 2012 Horizon Report Higher Education Edition (Johnson, Adams, & Cummins, 2012) and a regional analysis for the New Zealand tertiary education sector (Johnson, Adams, & Cummins, 2011). These two reports describe emerging technologies that are most likely to have the biggest impact on society over the next five years and include, inter alia, an overview of the use of mobile apps and tablet computing and their relevance for teaching and learning. Next, a survey of the literature describing the use of the Apple iPad mobile device in learning and teaching will be described. Although the iPad is a relatively new mobile device, the literature shows overwhelming evidence of initial success in learning and teaching (see, for example, Manuguerra, 2011; Williams, Wong, Webb & Borbasi, 2011). This paper will also include recommendations, based on the successes and challenges reported in the literature, for those teachers who might still be debating whether or not to use the iPad for teaching and learning. Finally, the use of mobile technologies to enhance chemistry teaching and learning, in particular, will be discussed with reference to the use of the iPad 2.


Chemical Space. (2009). The blogging chemist. Retrieved from

Johnson, L., Adams, S., & Cummins, M. (2011). Technology outlook for New Zealand tertiary education 2011-2016: An NMC Horizon report regional analysis. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Johnson, L., Adams, S., & Cummins, M. (2012). The NMC Horizon report: 2012 higher education edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Manuguerra, M. (2011). Promoting student engagement by integrating new technology into tertiary education: The role of the iPad. Asian Social Science, 7(11), 61-65.

Williams, A. (2010). Mobile chemistry – chemistry in your hands and in your face. Retrieved from

Williams, P., Wong, W. L., Webb, H., & Borbasi, S. (2011). Mobile technologies in the field: iPads – rescuer or rescue? In G. Williams, P. Statham, N. Brown & B. Cleland (Eds.), Changing Demands, Changing Directions. Proceedings ascilite Hobart 2011 (pp. 1325-1331). Hobart, Tas., Australia: The University of Tasmania. Retrieved from