June 25, 2012
Nearly 26,000 Apple iPads will go to San Diego Unified School District classrooms this fall in what is being considered one of the largest iPad deployments for K-12 schools in the country.
Educational applications are already available for tablets like the iPad, but iBooks turn reading, writing and arithmetic into an interactive experience. The iBooks allow students to highlight, turn notes into study cards and receive teacher updates.
“The more engaging the content is, the more the students want to be in there; They want to be reading, they want to be learning,” said Amanda Ferguson, who develops iBooks for educational materials company Pearson Education.
The iBook versions of textbooks have the obvious benefit of being lighter, more compact and easier to carry. But is there evidence that shows these iBooks can be used to help students learn better?
“The key is not the technology on its own, not the tools. It’s everything together, put together effectively,” said Scott Drossos, senior vice president of Pearson Education.
Drossos points to a recent study called “Project Red” that shows 90 percent of schools with a comprehensive technology program involving teachers, administrators and a coordinated curriculum reporting better test scores. In comparison, of the schools that had either no strong technology support or no technology at all, 70 percent reported better scores.