Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Study Shows iPads Help Learning

The iPad has been touted as a better way to learn since the tablet computer was introduced by Apple founder Steve Jobs in 2010. Now, there is research that shows the claim to be correct.

The new study found that learning on tablets tap into neurocognitive skills that help students understand difficult concepts. The students used in the research saw gains in their learning from just 20 minutes of study on an iPad, with an even more pronounced improvement with guidance from an instructor.

“The bottom line is that these iPads and similar tools actually do make a difference,” said Matthew Schneps, founding member of science education department at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in an article in National Geographic.

Researchers compared test results given to thousands of high school astronomy students across the nation. The study was able to define how students performed on the test and how use of the tablets changed test results.

The results of the study also suggest that using tablets to study makes it easier to grasp difficult scientific concepts. In addition, being able to use the technology may be critical in future career training, according to Schneps.

“They’re not going to be doing things in their jobs the same way that previous generations did, so if kids can learn in school today using the same tools that they will use in their careers later on, that’s a good thing,” he said.

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