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The Digital Transition from Textbooks to Tablets in Saudi Arabia

, , University of North Florida, United States

Journal of Interactive Learning Research Volume 32, Number 1, ISSN 1093-023X Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


Technology has greatly impacted education around the world, including in Saudi Arabia. Educational technology supports teaching and learning processes, and its integration into schools supports successful initiatives to improve learning in the classroom. Introducing a new technology resource, such as computer tablets, into learning settings is crucial in the delivery of more varied and more interactive instructional content at all student levels.

This qualitative research study concerns the digital transition from textbooks to tablets in Saudi Arabian schools. The goal of the study was to examine the use of tablets by current teachers and to investigate their perceptions of and feelings towards tablets. This study also helped to identify benefits and disadvantages of using digital technology devices in schools. The researcher used a purposive sampling technique for an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews and observations. Six Saudi teachers who use tablet devices in their classrooms agreed to be interviewed and observed and to participate in follow-up interviews.

The data were analyzed using thematic analysis, which emphasizes the important themes across the collected data. The findings indicate a persistent dilemma of which participants were not aware: the intent of transitioning to tablets is not matched by what takes place in classrooms. This study found that teachers use tablets as supplemental instruction, but books are still the primary method of instruction. The major problems with tablet implementation in this school were inadequate teacher input into the transition process, training, and ongoing support.


Alhamed, N. & Ohlson, M. (2021). The Digital Transition from Textbooks to Tablets in Saudi Arabia. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 32(1), 67-98. Waynesville, NC: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved June 13, 2021 from .