A Quantitative Investigation into the Impacts of 1:1 iPads on Early Learner’s ELA and Math Achievement

Damian Bebell, Joseph Pedulla
Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice  •  Volume 14  •  2015  •  pp. 191-215
Many parents, educators, and policy makers see great potential for leveraging tools like laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones in the classrooms of the world. Although increasing students’ technology access may be associated with increased student achievement, there is little research directly investigating objective measures of student achievement. This study addresses the short-term and long-term quantitative impacts of one of the world’s first school efforts to provide Kindergarten through 3rd grade classrooms with 1:1 iPad access and a range of English Language Arts (ELA) and math Apps. This report summarizes two investigations conducted during this iPad implementation. First, a 9-week pre/post randomized control trial was conducted in which 8 Kindergarten classes used literacy and numeracy apps while another 8 Kindergarten classes used their traditional (non-iPad) resources. At the end of this short implementation period, slightly stronger literacy performance gains were observed in the iPad settings. In a second longitudinal study, three years of assessment data were explored before and after the 1:1 iPad implementation in grades K to 2. Results from the longitudinal study provide emerging evidence of potential increases in ELA achievement, but no consistent results in math achievement. This paper adds to the sparse literature in this area and provides a springboard for further research.
tablet computers, iPads, early education, Kindergarten, student achievement, randomized control trial, early literacy, 1:1 computing
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