During 2010 the Wyckoff Education Foundation were approached by some teachers interested in using 21stcentury tools to boost language arts literacy in the 1st grade.
Like many parents, we were eager to see whether technology could improve our students learning experience. We know our children learn more effectively when they are engaged and having fun, but we also understand that people worry this may just be a fad.
WEF asked Ms. Miller and Ms. Stauffer to keep track of the results to determine the effectiveness of the tools and programs. The results were very encouraging and Ms. Miller and Ms. Stauffer presented those results during WEF’s June meeting.
Two sets of comparisons were performed…
- Year-over-year comparison of reading growth
During 2010-2011, 80% of students reached the year-end benchmark on the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment. This compares with 2011-2012 where 100% of students using the iPads reached the year-end benchmark!
- Year-over-year and intra-class comparison of students reaching stretch goals of reading growth of 5 levels or more.
During 2010-2011 47% of students reached the goal of 5 levels or more and, during 2011-2012 the average across the non-iPad classes was that 45% of children reached this level. This compares to the classes where iPads were used which showed that 62% of students reached the stretch goal! *
In addition to these impressive results the teachers spoke enthusiastically about other areas of improvement including increased sight word vocabulary, improved expressive oral reading fluency and expanded responses to literal and interpretive comprehension questions.
iPads were only used for short periods during the classroom and children were optionally allowed to be used during periods of free time. Not surprisingly the children picked up the skills needed to use these devices very quickly.
Technology is certainly no substitute for good teachers, but when properly employed these tools do seem to provide a real boost to education and make the classroom and fun place to be, and what could be better than that?
Click here for a list of applications used within the Wyckoff school district.
* Results provided by Ms. Stauffer and Ms. Miller during the June 2012 WEF monthly meeting.