This is the nation’s first public school district to give every kindergartener an iPad. And the implementation was done very carefully, with the research component built in from the start, not added as an after-thought.
This fall, the district randomly selected 8 of its 16 kindergarten classes to receive iPads. There’s been ongoing professional development to help the teachers incorporate the devices into literacy instruction.
In December, iPads were rolled out to the rest of the classes. Assessments of all students’ literacy were made at the beginning of the year and again in December. The initial assessments and research has focused on literacy skills, but the researchers are also looking at how iPads might affect numeracy skills as well.
Of the assessments that were made, the results all trended positive, with students in the group that received iPads at the beginning of the school year performing better on average than students in the comparison group. However, the differences between these two groups were not statistically significant, except in one area. That is, students with the iPads exhibited a substantial increase in their scores on the Hearing and Recording Sounds in Words (HWSIW) test, a test of a student’s phonetical awareness, assessing their ability to make the sound and letter connection.
via Hack Education