Young students benefit from iPads

What is your experience working with young people and iPads?

In a study conducted in Northern Ireland with about 650 pupils in five Belfast primary schools and five nursery schools it was found that young people can benefit from using iPads in school.

The study reveals a boost in engagement and motivation, plus improvements in English, math and communication skills if they use iPads in school on a regular basis.

The schools which took part in the study were in some of the most deprived areas of the city. They were each supplied with sets of iPads for nursery, primary one, primary two and primary three classes.

This study was carried out over two years by researchers from Stranmillis University College.

The researchers then assessed how pupils, parents, principals and teachers used them over the course of two years.

Among their key findings were that:

  • The introduction of digital technology has had a positive impact on the development of children’s literacy and numeracy skills
  • Contrary to initial expectations, principals and teachers report that the use of ipads in the classroom has enhanced children’s communication skills
  • Children view learning using handheld devices as play and are more highly motivated, enthused and engaged
  • Boys appear to be more enthused when using digital technology, particularly when producing pieces of written work

IPads helped young children to be more motivated and engaged in class, said Dr Colette Gray from Stranmillis, who was one of the study’s authors.

The study also found that although some teachers were initially nervous, many had developed their own confidence by using iPads extensively in class.

There were concerns, however, that parents needed to know more about the safe use of technology if young children were using one outside school.