iPads in Education: Effective?

July 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

The iPad as an educational tool has become a very hot topic, yet little has been written on its effectiveness. K. Walsh at EmergingEdTech has done some research and compared the results of several different schools. Here are some of his results: 

Success

  • “Fifth-grade teacher Shawn Alholm said the students have been learning so much by having the iPads, including how the technology works and learning more information about various topics. Alholm said if a student doesn’t know a word or how to pronounce it they can easily look it up. If they want to learn more about a historical person, it’s all at their fingertips. Alholm said there also are educational websites on the iPads that also help students with their mathematics.”
  • “Fifth-graders Ethan Wickstrom and Logan Linhardt both said that using the iPads has been fun and they’ve learned a lot more than they would have without them. The students also said that it wasn’t hard for them to figure out how to use them. With a chuckle, Ethan said that carrying the iPad around is much easier than carrying a lot of textbooks around. It helps you focus more on your homework, said Logan. You don’t rush through it as fast.”

Criticism

When I added “higher education” to my search criteria, one of the first articles I came across was, “iPads Could Hinder Teaching, Professors Say”, from The Chronicle of Higher Education. The March 2011 article states, “Despite the iPad’s popularity—Apple has sold nearly 15 million of them and just came out with the iPad2 … early studies indicate that these finger-based tablets are passive devices that have limited use in higher education. They are great for viewing media and allow students to share readings. But professors cannot use them to mark up material on the fly and show changes to students in response to their questions, a type of interactivity that has been a major thrust in pedagogy.” (I’m not so sure that there aren’t apps that can provide some of that functionality – KW).

 

 For more info, read the source here.

        

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