The iPad is a very tempting tool for educators and students, which has led to a number of initiatives to bring the iPad into classrooms from elementary up through Med School.
A new report from Abilene Christian University, reveals that students who have an iPad to use in class and while reading have noticeable performance gains from the iPad.
The report takes a research focused, rather than anecdotal, look at how students respond to and are affected by an iPad in the classroom.
- 25% Higher Scores for Information Transfer for Students who annotate text on iPads.
- 95% satisfaction rate for grad students for online iPad coursework
The biggest takeaways from the study are that the iPad facilitates “:learning moments” and promotes greater efficiency in the classroom.
While this study is likely to be used in support of iPads in education, not all iPad classrooms are showing higher scores. The NY Times points to a “classroom of future”, which has yet to see an increase in the scores. Part of this lack of a performance boost may be tied to the overall new nature of this technology. There is likely to be a gap in time while educators learn the best practices fo using a device like the iPad to teach.
I have been using the iPad in my classroom since shortly after the first iPad was released, as a professor. My students don’t have iPads provided to them, or that they bring to class on their own, but I wish they did.
Currently, the students have a large 20″ monitor which separates us during lecture portions of the class. While iPads wouldn’t do away with distraction, this physical barrier would be gone, and the portability of the iPad would make it easier for students to take their notes and books to other parts of the room for groupwork.
As much as I loathe these monitors, they do bring a bit of the real world to our classroom. Just as students will likely have a piece of technology in front of them at work, they have access to the web in class. They can use this to goof off, which is noticeable at work and in class, or they can use it to quickly look up additional information - something that promotes in class conversation and discussion.
I don’t view the iPad as a magic pill to boost test scores or a way to connect to my students, but it is certainly a tool which could play a large role in facilitating learning and discussion.
Are you, or your kids, using iPads in the classroom? What results have you seen?