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5 February 2013

iPad Makes Children Enthusiastic to Learn But Doesn’t Ensure Higher Grades

Keywords: education, internet, interview, learning, Australia & Oceania, tablet, tweens,

Since the iPad was introduced in 2010, more and more schools have become interested in the use of the wireless device for educational purposes. A study presented at the Hawaii International Conference of System Sciences gives some insights about how the iPad could be used at primary schools.

Take aways

  • The iPad has potential to be a useful tool for education. 
  • However, the iPad should not be seen as a tool to ensure higher grades among children. Rather, it is a tool to make learning more attractive and easier to children.
  • Strengths of the iPad are the ease of use, the range of different available apps, and its multi-touch rotatable screen, which all made it easier for students to work together on an assignment.
  • When introducing iPads in classrooms, there should be someone responsible for managing the use of the iPads. 

Study information

  • The question?

    How are Ipads being used in primary schools?

  • Who?

    Teachers and students of the Redoubt North Primary School. This school was selected for this study because they were early adopters of the iPad in classrooms. The school bought five to six iPads per classroom and used it during classes on a daily basis.

  • Where?

    Auckland, New Zealand 

  • How?

    Researchers interviewed three staff members of the school; the school’s ICT manager, a senior teacher and a teacher. Researchers asked these staff members questions about their experiences with, and opinions about the iPad for use at school.

Facts and findings

  • According to the participants the iPad was a very handy and easy to use device, which made learning more accessible, but did not guarantee higher grades among children.
  • Features of the iPad that were used a lot were:
    • Browsing the internet.
    • Apple Key Note (similar to Microsoft Powerpoint)
    • Apple’s Pages (similar to Microsoft Word). 
    • iBook applications
  • A downside was that the use of iPads had to be managed. For example, someone had to control all ipads on a daily basis, to make sure that batteries were recharged, apps downloaded and iPads repaired when needed.