Getting, S., & Swainey, K. (2012). First graders with iPads?. Learning and Leading with Technology,40(1), 24-27. Retrieved from www.iste.org/Store/Product.aspx?ID=2515
First graders with iPads? This article, by Sara Getting and Karin Swainey, discusses the use of iPads in the classrooms of young students to improve success in "youngest at-risk readers." Getting and Swainey wanted to determine if iPads would aid in the reading achievement of their two lowest reading groups. Much to their surprise, facilitating the use of iPads in a first-grade classroom was relatively easy. Teachers sat the students down and gave them the iPads; any student who did not comply had their iPad taken away immediately. For those that did comply, many apps were used on the iPads to facilitate reading success. "Sight Words, Fluency, Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Literacy" were some of the areas of focus and concern for the teachers. The students were comfortable using the iPads and their attention and focus improved greatly. The students also began to collaborate with one another in groups.
Q1: What, if any, problems arose during the experiment?
A1: The teachers found some technical problems where the iPads would not sync properly in mass quantities. Some apps were also missing from some of the devices. Subject matter was limited on the devices as well and some of the apps were noisy and distracting. To solve the noisy apps problem, they purchased headphones for the group activities.
Q2: What was the outcome?
A2: One outcome was that the TOT "time on task" statistics for students improved, in some cases as much as 20%. Students learned about global awareness using Google Earth. The data gathered by the teachers confirmed that students who routinely used the iPad saw elevated average gains and/or higher scores at the end of the year.