Results from the nation’s first kindergarten iPad initiative

Earlier this month, a Maine school district announced initial results from the nation’s first kindergarten iPad initiative, which reflected modest increases in literacy test scores. Auburn School District conducted a nine-week randomized control trial where students from 8 of 16 kindergarten classes were given iPads to use in school and at home.

Below are excerpts from the study.

Figure 1 (above) shows the average improvement across literacy assessments for iPad (in red) and comparison students (in blue) during the Fall 2011 assessment period. The results show that students in both settings made modest improvements in their RIGBY and CPAA performance during the first months of kindergarten. Comparing the RIGBY and CPAA gains from the iPad and comparison settings, gain scores were consistently greater for the iPad students than observed in the comparison settings …

… Comparing the OSELA gains from the iPad and comparison settings, gain scores were again consistently greater for the iPad students than were observed in the comparison settings. Most notably, students in the iPad setting exhibited a substantial increase in their performance on the Hearing and Recording Sounds in Words (HRSIW) subtest, which measures a child’s level of phonemic awareness and ability to represent sounds with letters. Subsequent statistical analyses showed that, after controlling for students’ incoming Fall 2011 scores, the impact of being in an iPad classroom had a statistically significant relationship with students post-HRSIW scores (t= 2.36, p.<.05). After controlling for other variables, the nine week impact was equivalent to a 2.1 point increase on the HRSIW, on average, for the iPad cohort.

Read the full research summary here.