If Apple’s commercials are any indication, the iPad can pretty much be used for absolutely anything, including studying, which isn’t exactly what most people would assume students would be using their iPads for these days. According to Abilene Christian University, not only are students using their iPads in their studies, but they’re also performing better than their peers.
According to the early results, “students who annotated text on their iPads scored 25% higher on questions regarding information transfer than their paper-based peers.” The study, conducted by the ACU Connected mobile learning program, has been part of a three year program that studies the advantages of mobile, next-generation technologies in the academic environment. Apparently the study has yielded some pretty positive results, should the research results be as accurate as we’re being led to believe.
Call me a dinosaur if you want, but I’ve always been much more effective studying with a paper and pencil than with any digital medium. The iPad wasn’t around when I was in school, so that may be the missing link, but taking notes on a laptop often found me heading into auto-pilot mode a lot more than the old trusty pencil and paper.
The original report is still private, and this news comes courtesy of TUAW and a sneak peak they were offered up by the ACU, so we need to take TUAW at their word currently. I can’t wait until the paper makes its way to the public in full. I’ll be plenty interested to see the results. If/when that happens we’ll be sure to pass along links to the study.
A quick side note
Post-secondary education already carriers the stigma of being a luxury only the rich can afford. It worries me a little that students could soon be expected to not only have a laptop for cranking out long-form essays, but also tablets for in class exercises. Sure, it may not be a problem for most, but for those students already struggling to pay rent while they study, is the iPad really all that necessary?
What happens with high schools? It’s both an interesting and scary time for the education system.
We aren’t privy to the study just yet, but even the basic snippet we’ve been given has me thinking a little bit. Do the students with iPads come from “richer” families? If so, did these students have the luxury of a better education growing up because parents could afford to pay more for private schools? All of these things need to be taken into account, and I’m really looking forward to reading the full report now.
Are you a student? Do you use the iPad as your primary study tool? How do you think it’s working for you? Let us know in the comments.