Sharing An IPad Makes Kindergartners Smarter

Posted: Apr 11 2015, 1:49am CDT | by , Updated: Apr 12 2015, 8:53pm CDT, in News | Technology News


Sharing an iPad makes Kindergartners Smarter

A new research shows that sharing iPads is making kids smarter than giving an iPad to each child.

A surprising result comes out of a new research from the Northwestern University in the UK. To give every child in a classroom or kindergarten is not as effective as sharing a pool of iPads. The collaboration aspect has dramatic impact on literacy test scores the study finds.

Courtney Blackwell from Northwestern University worked with 352 students at a Midwestern suburban school district that was phasing in 1:1 iPads into their kindergarten classrooms, creating a natural experiment where classrooms in one school had 1:1 iPads; classrooms in a second school had 23 iPads to share, where kids primarily used them in pairs; and classrooms in a third school had no iPads. She looked at the effect that using 1:1 iPads for one academic year (9 months), compared to the other two conditions, had on student literacy (as measured by the STAR Early Literacy Assessment).

Results showed that students in shared iPad classrooms significantly outscored their peers in 1:1 and non-iPad classrooms on the spring achievement test, even after controlling for baseline scores and student demographics. Blackwell found that shared iPad students scored approximately 30 points higher than 1:1 iPad students and non-iPad users.

There has been little quantitative research done measuring the effects of young children's academic achievement and this is the first study to examine the effect that sharing iPads can have on young students.

"1:1 tablet computers may not be the most effective way to use technology for all grades and from a policy standpoint, we need to rethink what developmentally appropriate technology use is for young children," said Blackwell. "Shared iPad students significantly outperformed both the 1:1 and non-iPad condition, suggesting it's the collaborative learning around the technology that made the difference, not just the collaboration in and of itself. While schools and districts may still want to go 1:1 in all grades, they may reconsider how the tablets are used, especially in earlier grades, in order to make the technology most effective."

The study "iPads in Kindergarten: Investigating the Effect of Tablet Computers on Student Achievement" by Courtney Blackwell will be presented at the 65th Annual International Communication Association Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 21-25 May 2015. 

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr () is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at




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