The Auburn School District in Maine has released some early results on a 1-to-1 iPad pilot program. Students in the program have shown a slight improvement when tested in November.
The school district adopted the iPad as part of its Advantage 2014 program, an ongoing project to improve math and reading test scores among third graders. Half of the 16 Kindergarten classes in Auburn were assigned iPads, and the other half were kept as a control group. The students were tested in September and November, with identical tests being applied to both groups. The kids in the pilot, on average, performed slightly better on the test.
I think we should wait for more data before accepting the good news. For all we know, the improvements noted today might be due to the students getting more time with the literacy apps than the control group spends with the regular curriculum, or it might be due to some variation of the observer effect. The students might be performing better simply because they’re being tested, not because the iPad is having noticeable effect.
image by Sistak