School districts across the country are plunking down major cash for iPads – even for kindergarten classrooms – but there hasn’t been much research about whether using them actually boosts student achievement. So James Harmon, an English teacher from the Cleveland area, decided to conduct his own experiment. His findings? His students learned better with the aid of iPads – if used correctly.
What’s more, a new survey of educational technology directors found all of them testing or deploying iPads in their school. Even if it was a small survey, with a sample size of 25, as noted by the analyst who conducted the research Gene Munster, the population of IT decision makers in the educational filed isn’t exactly vast.
According to those surveyed, 36% of these directors expect to have one tablet for every student and 44% expect to achieve this goal within three to five years. Overall, the ratio of students to tablets is expected to be 6:1 which is better than the 10:1 student to computer ratio school systems have today.
Tablets may be useful for schools, but there are significant administrative hurdles that must be overcome before they will have widespread usage. The survey also reveals that almost half of the directors (48%) believe a tablet is important as an information gathering tool, but 64% see the device management as a significant burden. Also a facet is the cost, which is smaller (20%), but still a significant hurdle schools need to overcome.Despite these challenges, some schools are embracing the iPad as a valuable teaching tool.