Examining teachers' acceptance and use of mobile applications and iPads in instruction through the technology acceptance model: A mixed methods study

Danielle Nicole Navariz, University of Texas at El Paso


With the addition of new technologies and the shift from digital learning to mobile learning, districts are rushing to purchase the latest mobile devices for their campuses. Despite this rush, as indicated by the growing number of pilot programs and 13 million iPads sold to education customers globally (Maestri, 2014), there is little research on the factors teachers consider when selecting mobile applications or the factors that impact their acceptance of the new technology. When implementing new technologies, teachers’ acceptance of the technology must be examined to ensure proper use. This dissertation explored, through sequential mixed methods, teachers’ acceptance of mobile applications and the iPad device through two phases. The first phase of the study determined, through quantitative statistics, the factors that impact the selection of mobile applications by teachers. Teachers’ acceptance of the device was explored through ease of use and perceived usefulness, predictors from the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), which is the theoretical framework that guided the study. The second phase further investigated, through qualitative interviews and grounded theory, the two predictors as well as the affordances and challenges of students and teachers through various uses of the device. The participants in both phases of the study were teachers, from various levels and subjects, who taught in two school districts in a border town in west Texas. The participants varied in terms of their number of years teaching, number of years using the device and the frequency of their use. The results of both phases of this study indicate that overall, teachers accept the device in instruction as indicated by the predictors of ease of use and perceived usefulness from the TAM model. The quantitative results of this study indicated that the number of years teaching, the time using the device, and the frequency in which the device was used were not factors impacting teachers’ acceptance of the device through the predictors of ease of use and perceived usefulness. There was a noted difference between elementary and high school teachers in terms of ease of use through audio ease and perceived usefulness through teacher support. Several factors of ease of use (audio and visual ease) represented the highest means of fifteen factors which indicated that teachers rated these factors important when selecting applications for instruction. The qualitative results validated these findings when the majority (95%) of teachers stated they were very likely to keep using the device and noted that it was easier to use than a computer. Participants indicated their students already knew how to use the device and were helping them with their ease of use. Teachers also reported several factors such as an increase in learning and growth in technology that would enhance their job performance. The findings of this study add to the ongoing research of user acceptance of mobile technologies and offer an extension to the TAM model by exploring the acceptance of the iPad, with a unique population. This dissertation provides teachers with the factors that are important in their selection of mobile applications for use in their classrooms. School districts can utilize the findings of this dissertation to guide teachers in the selection and purchasing of mobile applications as well as provide technical support and training. Additionally, the findings can inform mobile application developers as to what factors teachers rate important and details about student motivation engagement that can guide their development while keeping the student in mind.

Subject Area

Educational technology

Recommended Citation

Navariz, Danielle Nicole, "Examining teachers' acceptance and use of mobile applications and iPads in instruction through the technology acceptance model: A mixed methods study" (2015). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3712747.