iPads in the Classroom

downloadThere’s an interesting article at EmergingEdTech pitching the advantages of tablets (especially iPads) in the classroom. Some notable impacts (the validity of the studies are not verified):

At the University of California Irvine’s iMedEd program, each of the 104 medical students in the class of 2014 received an iPad from the school when they started in 2010. Towards the end of their programs, this class scored an average of 23% higher on national exams than previous classes (even though their incoming GPA and MCAT scores were comparable). The iPads provided contained a full suite of electronic textbooks, as well as podcasts of lectures and other resources.

A study of kindergarteners in Auburn, Maine showed that students who use iPads scored better in every literacy test than those who don’t. The study focused on 266 children whose instruction featured the iPad. Those who used the device scored higher on the literacy tests, were more interested in learning and excited to be there.

The Franklin Academy High School in North Carolina initiated a 1:1 iPad program at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. In April, 2014, the Academy released results of a study that shed light on the impact that the use of the iPad had on academic achievement and the development of the vital non-cognitive skills that their program is founded upon. Study results indicated that these students exhibit the following positive student behaviors:

Increased motivation in students
High confidence level with the use of technology
Opportunities for collaboration
Organizational benefits
Efficiency in completing tasks
Self-directed and extended learning opportunities
Increased independence towards becoming a continuous learner
Developing skills of a problem solver

Obviously, these are just a few examples of such studies. This article from Secure Edge Networks, 8 Studies Show iPads in the Classroom Improve Education, offers more. Here’s another study covered on EmergingEdTech back in 2012. Just Google “iPad study” or similar phrases to find more – there are plenty of them out there. 

More meaningful than the studies is the paragraph on professional development:

Successful implementation of any large technology initiative requires effective planning and well-designed professional development. It’s really just that simple. Not that it is easy to do, but the bottom line is that any large initiative and expenditure such as this requires quality planning and proper PD and support. One popular avenue for professional development in the world of education technology that doesn’t require school districts to figure it out all by themselves is the conference setting. Back in 2011, the Franklin Academy in North Carolina ran the first national Teaching and Learning with the iPad Conference in the U.S. Attendance at the annual conference has grown every year, and attendees have come from all across the world. Over the years, numerous other such conferences have sprung up as well, and educators can take advantage of professional development opportunities like this throughout the year, at locations all across the world.