wasting bandwidth since 1999

Read Past the Headline

Between Twitter, my RSS feeds, and email, at least a dozen people in the past few days have pointed me to an item with the breathless headline “1-Year Educational iPad Pilot Complete: Students Writing Markedly Improved“.

Very exciting. We certainly could use more solid research on the effectiveness of technology like the iPad for instruction. 

However, this ain’t it.

The post is nothing more than the complete text of a press release.

A narrative of how iPads were used in the classes of one teacher at a relatively exclusive private school for boys.

With very few details to validate the “markedly improved” metric.

And written by the company that publishes the $10 app used in the “study”.

I wonder how often this PR piece was passed around in an effort to justify iPad purchases without reading past the headline or questioning the source.

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1 Comment

  1. Dave

    It’s not physically possible to produce writing as efficiently on a tablet’s touch screen as with a physical keyboard. There’s no tactile feedback for the “keys” on a touchscreen, you can’t rest your hands, the viewing angle is constrained by the angle you need the tablet at to type on. It’s ergonomically dangerous to do extended typing on a tablet.

    These are fundamental concepts — it’s not a matter of the next generation having better quality materials or a higher resolution screen or faster processor or a new innovative app. We are limited in this area by the physical qualities of fingers, wrists, and eyes.

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