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University study finds students with Apple's iPad perform better

post #1 of 67
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Students using the Apple's iPad for their studies have been found to score higher than their paper-based peers and enjoy higher efficiency, according to a new study.

Abilene Christian University has been conducting extensive studies on the effects of mobile devices on student learning for more than three years. Prior to the launch of the iPad, the university undertook an initiative to hand out iPhones and iPod touches to incoming freshmen.

The university's iPad-specific research results are "uniformly positive," as noted by TUAW after a preview of the data. One study found that "students who annotated text on their iPads scored 25% higher on questions regarding information transfer than their paper-based peers."

Researchers who tracked ACU's first all-digital class noted that the iPad promotes "learning moments" and helps students to be more efficient with their time. Graduate students in an online program responded with a 95 percent satisfaction rate to online iPad-based coursework.

Apple has seen quick educational adoption of its touchscreen tablet device. Earlier this year, Georgia legislators revealed that they were considering plans to get rid of conventional textbooks in middle school classrooms and implement iPads.

"Last week we met with Apple Computers," State Senator Tommie Williams said in February, "and they have a really promising program where they come in and their [sic] recommending to middle schools for $500 per child per year, they will furnish every child with an iPad, wi-fi the system, provide all the books on the system, all the upgrades, all the teacher training and the results theyre getting from these kids is phenomenal."

Schools from around the country, including New York, Illinois, Virginia and California, have begun pilot programs to bring the iPad into the classroom. Programs implementing the iPad range from middle schools and high schools all the way up to medical schools. The Chicago public school system has seen gains as much as 50 to 60 percent in reading math and science in classrooms with the iPad.

Last year, Apple introduced volume educational discounts for applications on the App Store in hopes of increasing iOS device adoption among educational institutions.

Apple recently reported that total downloads of its iTunes U initiative, which offers print, audio and video downloads of school courses and lectures, have topped 600 million.

According to UBS Investment Research analyst Maynard Um, the iPad has become a popular choice for students and faculty. His retail channel checks also indicated that non-iPad tablet sales have continued to lag.

Apple has expressed interest in new technology that would help users tailor the company's devices to accommodate unique disabilities and special needs. During the unveiling of the iPad 2 earlier this year, the company highlighted in a video the fact that the iPad has been used to assist children with autism and help students interact with content in a new and unique way.

post #2 of 67
That's pretty cool. I'd like to see more studies on the effect of the iPad on education.

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post #3 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Students using the Apple's iPad for their studies have been found to score higher than their paper-based peers and enjoy higher efficiency, according to a new study ...

Correlation is not causation.
post #4 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Correlation is not causation.

Exactly.

More like rich students have more resources and time for their studies than poor students struggling to pay tuition.
post #5 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

Exactly.

More like rich students have more resources and time for their studies than poor students struggling to pay tuition.

thank you for saving me from writing that out.
post #6 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Correlation is not causation.

Exactly, no mention of sample sizes I can see, or any socio economic factors which could also influence the result? For instance, do only high IQ students have the iPads? The sound bite is not enough to suggest the iPad as the cause, as you point out.
post #7 of 67
I'm not sure where this is going to lead to. There are going to be an awful lot of iHaters out there saying that it's unfair for Apple to have reign over education and that they'd rather see 'open source' tablets that are cheaper or something to that effect. Apple is definitely going to take the lead in pilot programs. The iHaters continue to keep saying that $500+ is too expensive and I don't see it. They're getting a very high quality tablet with an excellent ecosystem that developers love. All iPads are basically the same unlike those various Android tablets with altered UIs. It appears that Apple is going to be around for a long time so there doesn't seem like any risk of them going out of business. Apple also seems to have the most cash reserve to just about get anything done in regards to design and manufacturing.

The only problem Apple might have is a good one, and that is, will Apple/Foxconn and various component vendors be able to keep up with iPad demand. If Apple were to really lock down the educational sector and actually change schools from textbooks to digital learning with iPads, it would be a really, really huge win for Apple. It would go back to the days when Apple was a leader of placing computers in the school system. The sky would be the limit. Maybe Apple should just start building factories on its own. I'm probably just getting carried away, but if students, teachers and school management really think iPads are worthwhile for learning, maybe Apple has a chance to make a breakthrough like never before. I sure hope it's true that students are able to study better with iPads than plain textbooks. That would be a great advance for overall education. I sure hope Apple doesn't blow this chance in some unexpected way.
post #8 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Maybe Apple should just start building factories on its own.

Back when Apple ran it's own factories, the Macintosh II cost $4,000 and the Macintosh IIfx STARTING PRICE was $10,000.
post #9 of 67
Not enough. Bring the comparison between them all:

- Students using no computer.
- Students using iPad.
- Students using Linux.
- Students using Windows.
- Students using Mac.

Probably using Mac is much better than using the iPad for obvious reasons.
post #10 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

Back when Apple ran it's own factories, the Macintosh II cost $4,000 and the Macintosh IIfx STARTING PRICE was $10,000.

And the NeXTStation was $10k - $15k in a fully automated factory in the States.

Please stop comparing price points back when the first IBM PC 286 started at nearly $4k even with IBM's massive resources.
post #11 of 67
I am curious to see the testing methods in this survey. All my teacher friends and a lot of other surveys point to the fact computer use in general in the classroom is more distracting. the tried and true method of listening and taking notes by hand still outperforms typing. Some schools are being forced into purchasing iPads because of parents who feel their kids will be left behind because they perceive wrongly that other schools with iPads will be more cutting edge.

We need good teachers not tech toys in the classroom.
post #12 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Correlation is not causation.

Yeah, probably.
post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

Exactly.

More like rich students have more resources and time for their studies than poor students struggling to pay tuition.

Eh, did you even read what it says above?

"Prior to the launch of the iPad, the university undertook an initiative to hand out iPhones and iPod touches to incoming freshmen."

That said, one doesnt necessarily have to be rich to have an iPad - just smart (which means you will perform better anyway). There are plenty who could afford one (over another computer) but they don't see the potential. Because they're dumb.
post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Correlation is not causation.

AMEN

kids with ipads in school probably come from a better socioeconomic background, may have had better public schooling, may not need to work as the parents can support college education to a greater extent.

Speaking as a student with an ipad, I can tell you, just buy your college kid a iphone or ipodtouch and a macbook air..they will be better off that way.
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post #15 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yawnstretch View Post

Eh, did you even read what it says above?

"Prior to the launch of the iPad, the university undertook an initiative to hand out iPhones and iPod touches to incoming freshmen."

That said, one doesnt necessarily have to be rich to have an iPad - just smart (which means you will perform better anyway). There are plenty who could afford one (over another computer) but they don't see the potential. Because they're dumb.

why does one assume that smarts is reflected in buying an ipad? since when did following the sheeple to the Apple store become a sign of intelligence?
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post #16 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Correlation is not causation.

People who brush their teeth before going to bed are more successful, therefore brushing your teeth every evening is the key to success... it's obvious!
post #17 of 67
I would have loved to have all my college textbooks in one device like an iPad.

Even if it didn't increase my test scores... the size and weight reduction would make me happy.

Slide to unlock my books? Yes please!
post #18 of 67
Troll

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post #19 of 67
Students with rich daddy's do better in school on average. Who would have thought?
post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

why does one assume that smarts is reflected in buying an ipad? since when did following the sheeple to the Apple store become a sign of intelligence?

Since referring to people who buy Apple products as "sheeple" became a sign of the opposite.
post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

Exactly.

More like rich students have more resources and time for their studies than poor students struggling to pay tuition.

how do socio-economic factors come into it at all if the school hands them out to each new student?

of course sample size is important - but I could have sworn the article said they compared test results from the entire class prior to use of iPads to that of the class after the start of everyone using iPads.

As with any other tool - effective use depends on how and why and where they are used. just handing everyone an iPad by itself is not necessarily going to make much difference - but they do enable the possibility of new and different ways of delivering information and interactions etc than even a traditional computer does.
post #22 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Not enough. Bring the comparison between them all:

- Students using no computer.
- Students using iPad.
- Students using Linux.
- Students using Windows.
- Students using Mac.

Probably using Mac is much better than using the iPad for obvious reasons.

And randomly assign the students which device they use. Otherwise the same factors which lead them to choose their device may also be influencing their study habits. As long as they let students choose their device, especially if they are paying for it themselves, the results will be correlation, not causation.
post #23 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony12 View Post

+1

Of course, I'd like to see the iPad plays an active role on education, rather than only playing games.

Agreed
post #24 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

how do socio-economic factors come into it at all if the school hands them out to each new student?

of course sample size is important - but I could have sworn the article said they compared test results from the entire class prior to use of iPads to that of the class after the start of everyone using iPads.

As with any other tool - effective use depends on how and why and where they are used. just handing everyone an iPad by itself is not necessarily going to make much difference - but they do enable the possibility of new and different ways of delivering information and interactions etc than even a traditional computer does.

It costs $500 per student
post #25 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kvnptrck11 View Post

It costs $500 per student


Thats the cost to the school system, and includes the ipad, wifi for the school, textbooks, teacher training, etc. As some others have stated, and its how I read the email, the devices in the study were provided to the students. Again it would be nice to see the article post a link to the study so we could read it instead of making guesses.
post #26 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Students using the Apple's iPad for their studies have been found to score higher than their paper-based peers and enjoy higher efficiency, according to a new study.

It could be that the iPad causes higher scores.

It could be that those who get higher scores feel the bug to get iPads.

It could be that some unrelated third factor causes some folks to both get high scores and get iPads.


Unless there was a control group, there is NO WAY to find any causal relationship. Those who buy iPads are self-selected. For example, maybe an unrelated third factor, like socioeconomic status, causes both the test scores than the purchases.

Unless there is a control group, and unless the participants are chosen randomly, there is NO WAY to establish cause and effect.


Think of this: It has been established that there are more accidental drownings when ice cream sales are at their peak. Ice cream does not cause drownings, nor does more drownings cause people to buy more ice cream. Instead, warm weather causes both phenomenon.

There is NO WAY to establish a cause and effect relationship without a control group and random selection of study participants.
post #27 of 67
Hehe... Apples and peers.
post #28 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

Back when Apple ran it's own factories, the Macintosh II cost $4,000 and the Macintosh IIfx STARTING PRICE was $10,000.

Correlation does not establish causation.
post #29 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kvnptrck11 View Post

It costs $500 per student

In other news, tuition fees have been increased starting this year, by exactly $500.

And perhaps the researchers on this study missed correlation ≠ causation because they were busy playing Angry Birds in Stats?
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post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

why does one assume that smarts is reflected in buying an ipad? since when did following the sheeple to the Apple store become a sign of intelligence?

Back in the good old days, when Apple products were bought by only a few, the self-congratulatory meme was that Apple buyers were an elite group.

Times have changed. Apple now targets grandma and technophobes as their prime customer group. While the marketing strategy has changed, the meme seems to be alive and well among some fans.
post #31 of 67
Go to acu.edu/connected

There's a lot of "studies" shown and the papers that have been published. All I'm saying is studies done on 18 students at a private university yield statistically insignificant results. Everyone has their own thoughts about this but I recommend reading the studies from their original source. Don't think I dislike any iDevice, I just dislike how this "study" is reporting its results.
post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

Back when Apple ran it's own factories, the Macintosh II cost $4,000 and the Macintosh IIfx STARTING PRICE was $10,000.

Oh my, looking back that is pretty steep! I bought a lot of IIfx models all upgraded to the Mac RAM (8 MB I seem to recall).
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post #33 of 67
While the article doesn't make it completely clear, there's a strong implication that this study involves tracking the performance of students who have been provided iPads in their classrooms vs. students who have not.

If you follow the links back to University site, the studies completed use just that model-- for instance, tracking teacher performance in an iPad pilot program.

It seems fairly unlikely that a university or mobile learning outfit would simply identify existing self identified iPad users in a classroom and attempt to reach conclusions about student performance based solely on uncorrelated data from those students, since, as so many posters have been quick to point out, such data would be worthless.

What doesn't seem to have occurred to these posters is that educators aren't idiots, and anyone bothering to put the time and resources into a study of this sort are probably not going to commit such basic errors of methodology as to be dismissed out of hand.
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post #34 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

While the article doesn't make it completely clear, there's a strong implication that this study involves tracking the performance of students who have been provided iPads in their classrooms vs. students who have not.

If you follow the links back to University site, the studies completed use just that model-- for instance, tracking teacher performance in an iPad pilot program.

It seems fairly unlikely that a university or mobile learning outfit would simply identify existing self identified iPad users in a classroom and attempt to reach conclusions about student performance based solely on uncorrelated data from those students, since, as so many posters have been quick to point out, such data would be worthless.

What doesn't seem to have occurred to these posters is that educators aren't idiots, and anyone bothering to put the time and resources into a study of this sort are probably not going to commit such basic errors of methodology as to be dismissed out of hand.

Thank you for saying this. Reading all the people that posted "correlation is not causation", all I could think was, a little knowledge is dangerous.
post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kvnptrck11 View Post

Go to acu.edu/connected

There's a lot of "studies" shown and the papers that have been published. All I'm saying is studies done on 18 students at a private university yield statistically insignificant results. Everyone has their own thoughts about this but I recommend reading the studies from their original source. Don't think I dislike any iDevice, I just dislike how this "study" is reporting its results.

Where on their site do you see that this study was done on 18 students?
post #36 of 67
According to the TUAW article the study hasn't been released yet but they got an exclusive look at the results, which they summarize.

The University site has a link to "iPad Studies" which describes a study in which "Thirty-eight secondary science teachers received iPad to determine whether and how iPad could be educationally effective", clearly an example of providing iPads to the cohort, not just willy-nilly asking which teachers were using iPads and imagining conclusion could be drawn from their results.

I don't see any info on the new study, which is presumably to be released in the near future.
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post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

Exactly.

More like rich students have more resources and time for their studies than poor students struggling to pay tuition.

Because an iPad is so much more than a laptop
post #38 of 67
Guys, I was FAILING college. Then I bought an iPad and now I'm acing. Explain that!

lol just kidding, this is all nonsense glad to see people point it out though
post #39 of 67
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post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seankill View Post

Because an iPad is so much more than a laptop

The iPad isn't a laptop replacement. It's something students will have a long with a laptop.

And even still, not every student has a laptop. I, for instance, had to do all my work in the computer labs on campus, or at home on the family computer. Now I have enough money to buy a laptop for every room of my house, but that's beside the point. If I had money while I was in college, I would probably have had the luxurious items that made school work easier to do.

Do you comprehend that? :/
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