Work with schools

Case study conducted with a National School in Phibsboro D7. (Delaney, 2017)



The Case Study was carried out with staff and students at a National School in Phibsboro, Dublin 7. Fig. 1.1 and 1.2 above illustrate some of the activities using interactive technology considered in this case study. The main research question asks to what extent does interactive technology impact on learning in primary school classrooms?

An initial literature review of relevant publications from the Dept. of Education (Dept. of Education and Science, 2008), studies relevant to cognitive multi-media learning theory (Mayer, 1998, 2003, 2009), (Pellegrino & Hilton, 2012) and its deployment in primary education (Rocha et al, 2016) were reviewed, in addition papers to relevant to integrating interactive technology in primary education (Carstens & Pellgrum, 2009). Further reading included educational psychology theorists Jean Piaget and Maria Montessori and NCTE and PDTS policy and resources.

A number of ethical issues surrounded the study as there were children involved. The researcher required Garda Clearance certification. This is a statutory requirement for any adult entering the premises during school hours. This was furnished to the school in advance of the study. The rights and anonymity of all children were guaranteed at all times. No data on any specific child’s personal or academic details were gathered during the course of the study.

Background Information

For the purpose of this study, definitions relating to multimedia learning and instruction proposed by Mayer and Moreno (2003) are adopted. As seen in Fig. 2. multimedia learning is described as a  learning process which is facilitated through words and pictures. The words may be verbal or written and the pictures can be static or dynamic. Multimedia instruction is described as the presentation of words and pictures in an organised way to facilitate learning.

In addition, ‘meaningful learning’ is said to describe the mental arrangement of new content into a coherent cognitive structure that integrates new knowledge with that already held by the learner. This process describes the creation of a new mental model on the part of the learner and implies the learner can apply what was taught to new situations (Mayer & Moreno, 2003., Mayer, 2009., Mayer & Wittrock,1996).

Fig. 2 Multimedia-learning-theory. Source: Mayer & Moreno, 2003.


Fig. 2 exposes the three types of memory that it is purported are involved in the human cognitive process: sensory memory, working memory and long-term memory. Source: Mayer & Moreno, 2003

Meaningful learning is said to take place at the point where new and old knowledge are integrated into a new working model. 

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