The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

December 19, 2013

iPads in the classroom: Not a bust, but not yet a boon

(Continued)

Above all, Diaz stresses the importance of making sure the instructional purpose of using iPads is clear — an issue that has gotten lost amid Los Angeles’ troubles.

“It’s really about asking, ‘Why are we doing this?’ ” Diaz said.

There isn’t a lot of research available yet on how iPads help students learn. But a new study offers some insight.

Himelstein’s center researched an iPad program in Encinitas, Calif., observing four upper elementary classrooms in four different schools at the beginning, middle and end of the school year to find out how teachers were using the iPad and how students were learning from.

The findings were mixed. According to the study, iPads improved students’ “research, writing and creative production,” yet didn’t improve math skills.

“In the classrooms we observed, the teachers who used the iPads well had better student outcomes,” Himelstein said. “That means students’ time on task improved, and teachers were able to provide more individualized instruction.

At Maywood, where an iPad pilot program is in its third year, first-grade teacher Lorena Cisneros said using the tablet as a teaching tool is like learning “a whole new subject. It takes planning, time and energy. In the first year, it’s a lot of trial and error. But now we’re all really comfortable using the technology.”

The Los Angeles Unified School District has heard the concerns of teachers and plans to address them, said Bernadette Lucas, head of the iPad program. In the meantime, Cisneros notices how iPads help students new to the English language open up. She listened to a recording they did as they told stories about illustrations that were uploaded to their tablets.

“These students never speak in class,” Cisneros says. “But I hear them in the recording, telling these stories and providing all these elaborate details.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Cinema verite documentarian Robert Drew dies at 90 Filmmaker Robert Drew, a pioneer of the modern documentary who in "Primary" and other movies mastered the intimate, spontaneous style known as cinema verite and schooled a generation of influential directors that included D.A. Pennebaker and Albert M

    July 30, 2014

  • Homeowner killed, another injured in Vegas crime spree LAS VEGAS — A horrific carjacking and home invasion spree ended with two people dead and a woman in critical condition. One victim, Richard Ramos, a 59-year-old father of four, “fought to his death” to protect his wife and children from their attack

    July 30, 2014

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-9 [Duplicate] UPDATE: Suspect in Minnesota officer killing in custody WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police in Minnesota say a man wanted in the shooting death of an officer is in custody after being shot by police. St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos says 39-year-old Brian Fitch Sr. got out of a minivan firing at

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-3 [Duplicate] Minnesota officer killed making traffic stop WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A police officer in Minnesota was fatally shot Wednesday while making a traffic stop and authorities said they were searching for a suspect. Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick, 47, was shot about 12:20 p.m. after pulli

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Possible suspect caught in Minnesota cop shooting WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A potential suspect in the shooting of a police officer in Minnesota has been captured. Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the officer was killed. Television news footage showed the man being pulled from his vehicle Wednes

    July 30, 2014

  • Police shooting reported in West St. Paul WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — Police are responding to the reported shooting of an officer in West St. Paul. Details weren't immediately available. Calls from The Associated Press to several police and city departments in the area weren't immediately returne

    July 30, 2014

  • Mars rover Opportunity breaks the off-world driving record Opportunity, the little rover that could, has broken a 41-year-old driving distance record that’s out of this world. The decade-old NASA Mars rover has crossed the 25-mile mark, surpassing the 24.2-mile record held by the Russian moon rover Lunokhod

    July 30, 2014

  • Minnesota officials consider high-speed rail ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota officials are holding public meetings on a proposed high-speed train linking Rochester to the Twin Cities. Transportation planners from state and federal departments are evaluating possibilities for the Zip Rail pas

    July 30, 2014

  • Study finds 5 servings of produce is enough, but we're not eating it How many times will we have to be told? Apparently we haven’t reached the point when we’ll change our habits, but here goes again: Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables every day can help us live longer. That comes from researchers’ analysis

    July 30, 2014

  • GOP gov hopeful Honour wants state spending cap Tells St. Cloud Times he wants a statutory budget cap linked to population and inflation.

    July 29, 2014