This report provides insight on the advantages and drawbacks of integrating the iPad in education, and provides recommendations for a successful integration, to maximize the benefits of this educational tool. This report explores the educational use of the iPad as it is a new scholastic trend increasing its presence in classrooms. The adoption of the iPad in education is described as “a necessary risk for schools” as this technology possesses incredible cognitive potential for students in this digital age.
Research was conducted on 6,057 students from Grade 6 to 10 and 302 teachers of varying subjects in schools across Quebec that were commencing programs to provide students with an iPad in fall 2012. This was done in an attempt to better understand the effects and uses of the iPad in the classroom. Below are some interesting findings:
- 53.6% of students reported to not having any prior experience working with an iPad compared to 70.2% for teachers.
- The main task performed on the iPad in the classroom was devoted to “doing schoolwork” according to 5,072 respondents. Students said they enjoyed the freedom to decide how to search for the answers they needed.
- A significant 2,301 students reported to using the device for “gaming” in class, most often occurring when they had completed their work. Some teachers used the games to reward and encourage hard work.
- Only 372 of respondents said they used the device for reading. This is in part because teachers did not adapt reading assignments to allow the integration of the iPad. Many schools still required the hard copy of a book although the ebook version was at their disposition for free.
- 76% of time on the iPad outside of the classroom was for recreational and social uses only after completing homework claimed students; 5,980 of students used it outside of class for social networking and texting
- 5,739 said they used it to do homework when outside of class
- Major Benefits: access to information, portability, better quality of presentations, creativity, greater collaboration between peers and with the teacher
- Major Challenges: source of distraction, difficulty writing with the iPad, difficulty organizing work
- 757 students and 14 teachers reported that the iPad lowered the students’ academic performance although overall, the average student was “very or extremely satisfied” and the average teacher was “moderately satisfied” in response to using the iPad in class.
Whether you are an educator debating the value of implementing a similar iPad project in your classroom, or a parent looking for deeper understanding of the involvement of technology in your child’s education, check out this great report http://karsenti.ca/ipad/
What has your experience been in integrating iPads in your classroom? Let us know!