Is iPad really beneficial for school kids?

Technology never comes cheap, but tablet PCs can actually help parents by reducing annual educational expenditure for kids. The world is still confused about iPad’s merits and demerits as tool for education.Ipad

One of the first five studies that tagged iPad as learning device

Auburn City’s Auburn School Department conducted a study in 2011-12 to understand iPad’s impact on learning. Kids in 16 kindergarten classes located within Auburn, Maine were asked to use Apple’s tablet PC for nine weeks. During this study, 137 students learned without using the iPad, while 129 learned with the help of iPad.  All 266 students were asked to solve certain tests after nine weeks. Students using iPads outperformed those who studied without tablet PC.

After the declaration of test results, Auburn Community School’s Principal Sue Dorris agreed that iPads can help kids in learning, motivation, and keeps them engaged. Auburn School Department’s executive Mike Muir had shared these study’s results with journalists in February 2012.

Later, Massachusetts based Harvard-Smithsonian Center’s study conducted in December 2013 also suggested the same.

Revolution started in 2012

Experts from the field of education and technology sensed the upcoming revolution for the first time in 2012 when Chicago Public Schools applied for iPad grants worth $ 450k.  During the same year, iPads worth $150 k were allotted to 11 schools in Virginia State, by the state’s Department of education.  Even public schools in New York City ordered around 2000 iPads.

Apple still leads the revolution

With Apple’s iBooks, kids can access more than 2.5 million books. Plus, Apple’s iBooks Author allows users to create and publish their own books. The tablet PC maker has also formed tie-ups with several publishers like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Pearson, and McGraw-Hill to create and publish interactive textbooks for students.  From elementary to higher education, iBooks store has books for almost every class.

Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller suggests, iPad has really managed to improve and revolutionize class room teaching methods and engagement levels.  He also believes that iPad is Apple’s best education product as of now.

Using iPads in classroom can help in saving thousands of dollars

According to Daniel Brenner, Superintendent of Roslyn High School, located in Long Island, iPad can help in eliminating long term costs involved in buying text books. He also shared the information that his school’s two iPad driven class rooms save around $7200 annually. Using Apple’s tablet PCs can help in saving money, as well as environment, by reducing dependency on paper.

Some experts prefer to wait and watch for more research findings

Stanford University’s Professor Larry Cuban interacted with journalists and shared his opinion that he and several other teachers are cautious about tablet PC’s educational value. He pointed out that there is very little amount of research work to show that kids learn faster with tablet PCs. Plus, kids might become too reliant on tablet PCs for learning.

Vikram Savkar, former vice president and director for publishing at Nature Publishing Group has different opinion about using iPad for education. During one of his interviews with Washington Post, he had shared his opinion that there is lot of difference between consumer market and education market.  User generated content might not prove to be as good as text books for education.

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