The Lockport City School District in cooperation with the University of Buffalo, are reporting on the second year of a three year longitudinal study that is currently in its final year, so we will continue to study the impact of iPads in the classroom and specifically on academic performance. The data is showing that iPads used in a 1:1 setting are making a dramatic impact on student performance on the New York State Assessments. I would definitely encourage further study.

Some thoughts regarding the study and results:

It is our belief that traditional public education has got to evolve into something more effective for our children today. The iPad has made it possible for a small city school district like Lockport with a poverty rate over 50%, to set up a learning environment for students that was simply not possible before without spending more money than what was available. So while the State was hammering school Districts like Lockport with budget cuts resulting in school closures and staff reductions, creative and innovative strategies with our use of technology increased without increasing our spending. As you can see below, the results are positive. Let me explain briefly why I believe the results we are seeing are so positive.

Our District Leadership has a SHARED VISION. We have proceeded on this initiative with an end goal in mind and patiently executed a dynamic plan that was supported from our Board of Education and Superintendent to start and then with our building leadership, technology staff, teachers, and students.

COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP at the District and Building levels has kept the project moving forward successfully. Working together with a trust that all leaders do their part toward the same end goal gives everyone ownership and credit for the accomplishments.

Allowing people to step up to the challenges in a DISTRIBUTIVE LEADERSHIP model has helped change the culture regarding our use of technology and the way we manage a district, building, or classroom. We have no shortage of qualified individuals willing to work hard to make a difference for our students and we have capitalized on their leadership.

And the final piece of the puzzle is a broad TECHNOLOGY FOCUS. We have maintained a broad use of technology in our buildings and across the District and focus on providing teachers with the tools that help students become more successful in the District. We encouraged the use of technology and measure the effectiveness in academic results. The data speaks for itself and teachers respond positively when they are allowed the opportunity to try different things and see the results for themselves. We continue to expose our students to iPads, Mac’s, PC’s, desktops, laptops, and other forms of technology because we believe that a public education depends on many tools in the types of technology used and not just one tool.

Some Conclusions at this point:

It might be easy for one to believe based on this data that iPads are the golden ticket to academic success for this generation of learners. I would like to introduce one more piece of data that the University of Buffalo presented to us in our first years of using the iPads. For two years the University of Buffalo observed our classrooms; both the classrooms that had iPads and those that did not. They found that after one year of using the iPads, the focus of class time had changed from being Traditional Instruction (Lecture) 67% of the time to less than 21% of the time. And that students working on task and engaged in learning went from 15% of the time, to over 75% of the time.

For Lockport, the iPad has been a tool we are using that has engaged students, and their enthusiasm for the use of the device has not decreased after 5 years now. Visiting our iPad classrooms, the engagement and enthusiasm the students have for learning with the device is obvious. Disciplinary problems have almost gone away and with all the qualitative data that is actually seen in the classroom, it is easy to start to see that something special is happening and it feels like students are excited about what they are doing and learning. After the first two years, the big question that remained was, “is this experiment with iPads making a difference on academic performance and can we collect data to proves that?” We are getting and sharing our answer to that question below.

We strongly believe that the iPads are making a positive impact in the way many of our teachers are using them in the classroom and that the device does have the potential of engaging our learners in differentiated learning activities so every student works side by side on the same activity, but at their level. It seems to us that any strategy that would engage the learner on the learning tasks for the majority of the class time will make a positive impact on academic results. For Lockport, at least for now, the iPad is helping engage our students on the learning tasks and we are seeing very positive results.

For more information contact:

Robert LiPuma, Ph.D., Director of Assessment and Technology for the Lockport City School District

The University of Buffalo has done a statistical analysis on the ELA Results below and have determined that a statistical difference does indeed exist when comparing the iPad classes and Roy B. Kelly Elementary School with the results from across the State of New York.

The University of Buffalo has done a statistical analysis on the MATH Results below and have determined that a statistical difference does indeed exist when comparing the iPad classes and Roy B. Kelly Elementary School with the results from across the State of New York.

The following tables show the percentage of students who answered the New York State Assessment questions correctly by standard. It provides a little more insight into the overall impact in specific area’s.