The great social changes caused by the development of digital technologies have also started to transform the field of education thanks to the incorporation of new devices into the learning process. The purpose of this research is to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the state of the question based on a review of scientific literature regarding primary-school children’s use of tablets and changes that can be attributed to it. A fundamentally qualitative methodology with a narrative approach was used in this research to carry out documentary analysis of a sample of 163 articles indexed in Web of Science, Scopus and ERIC. This sample was selected by using different search operators according to the respective axes/categories of the topic of study. The information extracted was subjected to content analysis and contingency analysis. The latter made it possible to identify the relationship between the qualitative variables and the temporal perspective, based on Cramér’s V. This study’s findings show that tablets are used in the classroom and at home, although the types of activities differ. In the school context, it is worth noting the existence of patterns of practices connected to searching online for curriculum content and creating it, as well as communication and interaction. The learning strategies employed are linked to the individualisation of education, while cooperative and collaborative forms are not encouraged enough. The indicators of the impact of use of tablets point to an increase in students’ motivation during their learning, although at the same time it can also cause distractions.

This is the English version of an article originally printed in Spanish in issue 276 of the revista española de pedagogía. For this reason, the abbreviation EV has been added to the page numbers. Please, cite this article as follows: Ricoy, M.-C., & Sánchez-Martínez, C. (2020). Revisión sistemática sobre el uso de la tableta en la etapa de educación primaria | A systematic review of tablet use in primary education. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 78 (276), 273-290. doi: 10.22550/REP78-2-2020-04

Referencias | References

Angarita, L. (2014). Estudio bibliométrico sobre uso de métodos y técnicas cualitativas en investigación publicada en bases de datos de uso común entre el 2011-2013. Revista Iberoamericana de Psicología: Ciencia y Tecnología, 4 (2), 67-76. Bowen, G. (2009). Document analysis as a qualitative research method. Qualitative Research Journal, 9 (2), 27-40.

Camacho, M., & Esteve-Mon, F. (2018). The use of tablets and their impact on learning. A national research in Primary Education schools. Revista de Educación, 379, 170-191. Camacho, W., Vera, Y., & Méndez, E. (2018). TIC: ¿Para qué? Funciones de las tecnologías de la información. Revista Científica Mundo de la Investigación y el Conocimiento, 2 (3), 680-693.

Chung, Ch.-J., Hwang, G.-J., & Lai, Ch.-L. (2019). A review of experimental mobile learning research in 2010-2016 based on the activity theory framework. Computers & Education, 129, 1-13. Crompton, H., Burke, D., & Gregory, K. (2017). The use of mobile learning in PK-12 education: A systematic review. Computers & Education, 110, 53-64.

Derounian, J. (2017). Mobiles in class? Active Learning in Higher Education, 17, 1-12. Ditzler, C., Hong, E., & Strudler, N. (2016). How tablets are utilized in the classroom. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 48 (3), 181-193.

Ebner, M., Schönhart, J., & Schön, S. (2014). Experiencias con iPads en la escuela primaria. Profesorado. Revista de Currículum y Formación de Profesorado, 18 (3), 161-173. F

eliz-Murias, T., & Ricoy, M. C. (2015). La tableta: fascinación por el aprendizaje ubicuo. In E. Vázquez-Cano & M. L. Sevillano (Eds.), Dispositivos digitales móviles en educación (pp. 85- 103). Madrid: Narcea.

García-Marín, S., & Cantón-Mayo, I. (2019). Uso de tecnologías y rendimiento académico en estudiantes adolescentes. Comunicar, 59 (27), 73-81.

Habler, B., Major, L., & Hennessy, S. (2016). Tablet use in schools: A critical review of the evidence for learning outcomes. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 32 (2), 139-156. I

NTEF (2017). Una breve historia de las TIC Educativas en España. Retrieved from https://intef. es/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Breve_historia_ TIC_Educativas_Espana.pdf (Consulted on 2019-07-23).

Karalar, H., & Sidekli, S. (2017). How do second grade students in primary schools use and perceive tablets? Universal Journal of Educational Research, 5 (6), 965-971.

LOMCE (2013). Organic Law 8/2013 of December 9, for the Improvement of the Educational Quality. Spanish Official Gazette, 295, 10 December 2013, pp. 97858-97921. Retrieved from https://www.boe. es/boe/dias/2013/12/10/pdfs/BOE-A-2013-12886.pdf (Consulted on 2019-07-04).

Lugo, M. T., & Ithurburu, V. (2019). Políticas digitales en América Latina. Tecnologías para fortalecer la educación de calidad. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación, 79 (1), 11-31.

Mertala, P. (2019). Digital technologies in early childhood education - a frame analysis of preservice teachers' perceptions. Early Child Development and Care, 189 (8), 1228-1241.

Moreira, F., Ferreira, M., Pereira, C., & Durão, N. (2017). Evolution and use of mobile devices in higher education: A case study in portuguese higher education institutions between 2009/2010 and 2014/2015. Telematics and Informatics, 34 (6), 838-852.

Nelson, J. (2016). Using conceptual depth criteria: addressing the challenge of reaching saturation in qualitative research. Qualitative Research, 17 (5), 554-570.

Ricoy, M-C., Sánchez-Martínez, C., & Feliz-Murias, T. (2018). The tablet in school and family contexts. Croatian Journal of Education, 20 (4), 1353-1379.

Sánchez Martínez, M. C. (2019). Utilización de las tabletas digitales en la Educación Primaria (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Universidad de Vigo, Ourense.

Shamir-Inbal, T., & Blau, I. (2016). Developing digital Wisdom by students and teachers: The impact of integrating tablet computers on learning and pedagogy in an elementary school. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 54 (7), 967-996.

Suárez-Guerrero, C., Lloret-Catalá, C., & Mengual- Andrés, S. (2016). Teachers’ perceptions of the digital transformation of the classroom through the use of tablets: A study in Spain. Comunicar, 24 (49), 81-89.

Tingir, S., Cavlazoglu, B., Caliskan, O., Koklu, O., & Intepe-Tingir, S. (2017). Effects of mobile devices on K-12 students’ achievement: a meta-analysis. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 33 (4), 355-369.

Titscher, S., Michael, M., Wodak, R., & Fetter, E. (2002). Methods of text and discourse analysis. Londres: Sage.

Tordecillas-Lacave, T., Vázquez-Barrio, T., & Monteagudo- Barandalla, L. (2017). Percepción de los padres sobre el empoderamiento digital de las familias en hogares hiperconectados. El Profesional de la Información, 26 (1), 97-104.

UNESCO (2019). Las TIC en la educación. Retrieved from https://es.unesco.org/themes/tic-educacion (Consulted on 2019-05-13).

Van-Hove, S., Vanderhoven, E., & Cornillie, F. (2017). The tablet for second language vocabulary learning: Keyboard, stylus or multiple choice. Comunicar, 25 (50), 53-63.

Yelland, N. (2018). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Young children and multimodal learning with tablets. British Journal of Educational Technology, 49 (5), 847-858.

Author Biography

María-Carmen Ricoy is a PhD in Educational Sciences and Associate Professor at the Universidad de Vigo, mainly delivering courses on digital technologies applied to education and innovation. Member of the Academic Committee of the Doctoral Programme in Educational and Behavioural Sciences, Director of doctoral theses and Vice-Dean for Quality and Educational Innovation in the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the Universidad de Vigo.


Cristina Sánchez-Martínez has a Doctorate in Educational Sciences and is Professor of Practice at the Universidad de Vigo. She has published several articles and book chapters and participated in international and national conferences. She is part of the teaching and research staff of the UVigo since 2015, mainly dedicating herself to research, and also delivering modules on bachelor’s degrees in education relating to digital technologies applied to education and in the Master’s on Educational Diversity.


Licencia Creative Commons | Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Esta obra está bajo una licencia internacional Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial 4.0.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



Palabras clave | Keywords

didacticactivities, primaryeducation, qualitativemethodology, tablets, technologicalchange