The iPad currently dominates the Canadian education market, accounting for over 90% of all in-class touchpad devices (compared to around 75% of the education market worldwide). A new study by the Canadian Research Chair In Technologies In Education, which surveyed 6,000 iPad-using students in Quebec, provides insight into how the device being used in Canadian classrooms.
Surveying students across grades 6-10, in addition to their teachers, the study found that for every 60 minutes of teaching, 88.5% of students were using were using their iPads for an average of 30 minutes or longer.
What were the students using their iPads for in class? Predominantly reading electronic textbooks and PDFs or using note taking and word processing applications (see gallery below). A third of students had admitted to playing games in class, sometimes with permission after completing schoolwork, but surprisingly the iPads were used very rarely for communication or multimedia purposes. Instead, the students preferred to use the devices to search for information online.
Outside of the classroom was a different story, with students spending over 76% of their time using the iPad for social activities, amusement, and other recreational uses, rather than homework.
While these findings might indicate that iPads in the classroom might be nothing more than an expensive reading and writing comprehension tool for classrooms, the researchers of the report feel they could provide “breakthrough cognitive potential” with proper teacher training. Of the 302 teachers surveyed, a full 70% indicated they had “never or very rarely” used an iPad prior to their introduction into the classroom.
There’s oodles more juicy information in the report, which can be found at the link below.