Study backs iPad school use
Study backs iPad school use

Children given iPads to use at school are more focused on learning and less likely to misbehave, research has found.

University of WA education researchers have been investigating the use of iPads and other mobile devices in 12 independent schools during the past 10 months.

UWA's Grace Oakley said teachers found that students were more likely to finish their homework and do a better job.

"Taking the device home and working on that is more motivational," Associate Professor Oakley said.

"Others have said that within the classroom, the children are more focused when they're using the iPad and there is less disruptive behaviour."

Though little data on iPad use in schools was available, she said it appeared the devices gave children more control over the teaching and learning process.

"So it's not a teacher standing there just delivering content," she said.

They were also more portable, allowing students to use them away from their desk.

"It's a blurring between home and school and formal and informal learning," Professor Oakley said.

The devices also had extra support features for children who struggled with learning.

Lorraine Sligar, principal of Rawa Community School in the Great Sandy Desert, which took part in the study, said the six-week trial had been so successful she had bought 30 iPads for Rawa and its sister school at Kunawarritji on the Canning Stock Route.

She said iPads captured the students' attention.

Edith Cowan University researcher Jenny Lane, who is halfway through a yearlong study of iPad use, said teachers needed extra training to use the devices effectively.

The West Australian

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