After having observed my nephew using the iPad to read interactive books (his favorite is Thomas and Friends), I can tell you that I have huge enthusiasm for the future of iPad learning. Now, a recent study shows that the iPad actually raises the literacy scores of kindergartners, report Jim Dalrymple of The Loop.
Dalrymple spoke to Mike Muir, the head of the Auburn School Department’s Multiple Pathways program, which investigates alternative teaching methods. He was enthusiastic about the way that the iPad had helped its students, but said that focus and training were necessary.
“The objective has to be learning, not just getting the technology out there,” said Muir. “We are paying attention to app selection and focused on continuous improvement — we aren’t just handing equipment to teachers.”
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The study randomly assigned half of the 16 kindergarten classes in the district iPads to use for 9 weeks. Each of the 266 students, were tested before and after the iPad introduction. According to the results, every class that had iPads outperformed the non-iPad classrooms in every literacy measure.
This is a great start and its nice to see that some of the forward-thinking applications of iPads to learning that educators like Fraser Speirs have been advocating are getting applied in regular schools, and showing positive results.
Sue Dorris, the Principal at one of the schools in the district, said that “We are seeing high levels of student motivation, engagement and learning in the iPad classrooms.”
Technology isn’t always the answer to helping students to learn better, or more efficiently. But sometimes, when the technology is simple and effective, it can be worth it. Lets hope we see more iPad-friendly classrooms in the future.