Apple is pushing for iPad use in education, and several schools have taken up the charge. Now, a study of kindergarteners in Auburn, Maine has shown that students who use iPads score better in every literacy test than those who don’t. The study focused on 266 children whose instruction featured the iPad. Those who used the device scored higher on the literacy tests, were more interested in learning and excited to be there.
There are caveats to these results. Many schools don’t have the budget to distribute iPads to all of their students (Apple has education programs, however, and third-party programs are getting better all the time). Additionally, the students’ excitement could be attributed to access to an iPad. When I was a kid, our school boasted brand new Apple IIes, which fostered a lifetime’s worth of interest in computers, technology, and the written word for me. But that’s likely because they played Oregon Trail and Prince of Persia.
Still, the iPad can be a powerful tool for learning and comprehension, especially for literacy. Interactivity can make for a very engaging experience, definitely at a young age. It’s reat to see these kindergarteners doing better in school no matter what the reason, and hopefully we’ll hear more stories of Apple’s technology benefiting students.