Guest Blog Post By Zoe Allen
image courtesy via adelaidenow
With the latest advancement in technology, an increasing number of schools and learning facilities have sought the aid of mobile devices for different uses in the classroom. Together with the ongoing upgrades of these devices and their operating systems, teaching with iPads in hand is proven to be an effective method in this age of visual media.
However, some are still not convinced about this ‘trend.’ Traditionalists would argue that there is no substitute for face-to-face learning, arguing that a student-teacher relationship is far more valuable than any technological advancement. However, research proves it differently otherwise.
To prove that the proliferation of iPads is valuable to the improvement of education, here are several studies conducted by various research firms.
Last year, a study conducted by Houghton Mifflin (a textbook publishing company) together with iPad makers Apple concluded that the tablets are valuable assets in the field of teaching. The study was made through a comparison between the test results of students enrolled in Algebra 1 classes. Some classes used traditional, paper textbooks while the rest used the iPads as study reference. The result? A surprising 20 percent more students were rated ‘Proficient’ and ‘Advanced’ when they used the iPad instead of the textbooks.
‘Engagement’ is the keyword which the iPad makers tried to zero on during the design process of the iPad. According to their 2012 announcement regarding education technology, more than 1.5 million iPads were in use in the education sector alone in the US. This figure, combined with the almost 20,000 educational apps in the App Store, is a proof that the tech device is not merely for entertainment or supplementary use. The iPad is a legitimate educational device. This design solution is also applicable to the company’s other devices including the iPhone 5. Based on the O2’s page for the smartphone, it has lightning speed connectivity and high-definition display similar to that of the iPad.
According to Open College’s report, even educators think that the tablets enhance learning in the classroom setting. Their survey garnered results that suggest that students are more likely to stay on topic and to focus on the lesson when aided with visuals and apps from iPads. Almost 81% of teachers from the United States believe that iPads are truly beneficial, while 86% of students think that iPads aid them in homeworks and school tasks.
Another study strengthened the claim of the Houghton Mifflin company. Motion Math reported that 15% of students who used their math learning app for 20 minutes increased their test results. “The study offers important evidence that what students learn through gameplay can help them perform better on the kinds of questions asked on state and national standardized tests. In just five days the app shifted the needle on students’ understanding of a topic that has long eluded most learners,” Motion Math reported.
East Auburn School
Conducted by the Auburn School’s Department of Multiple Pathways, the study revealed that kindergarten students who used iPads have better scores compared to those who didn’t use the gadget. The process involved 16 kindergarten classes – 129 students used the iPads while 137 learned through textbooks. Tests were introduced prior to and after the usage of the tablets. The results were favorable towards the iPad users.
“We are seeing high levels of student motivation, engagement and learning in the iPad classrooms,” commented the school’s principal Sue Dorris. The apps, which teach and reinforce fundamental literacy concepts and skills, are engaging, interactive and provide children with immediate feedback,” the study said.
Studies also proved that the iPad benefits not only the young learners but also college students. The summary of the findings of the Pearson Foundation’s study stated that many college students believe that iPads are “just as valuable for educational purposes as they are for personal entertainment.”
With the increase of iPad ownership in all demographics, the research also found out that most college students (represented by over 1,200 respondents) preferred reading digital material than books or paper handouts.
Needless to say, iPads made a tremendous improvement in the landscape of the education sector. With more avenues to explore (LTE connections, iBooks, augmented reality, VoiP and more), the future is bright for both educators and learners alike. What do you have to say about using iPads as an educational tool?
About the Author
Zoe Allen is a specialist in aything iPad, blogging, music and mobile applications. Her love of racing takes up most of his spare time and she also maintains a passion for fashion.