IPads to Replace Textbooks for California Students
Year-long trial underway for 400 eighth-graders
By Albert Roman
Epoch Times Staff
The 400 participants are from four school districts throughout California, including Long Beach, Riverside, Fresno, and San Francisco. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES—With the dawn of iBooks in January 2010, it was only a matter of time until Apple and textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) crossed paths.
HMH has created a full curriculum Algebra App for the iPad, called HMH Fuse, and wants to test its effectiveness.
Last week, HMH along with California Secretary of Education Bonnie Reiss, Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Christopher Steinhauser, and Algebra 1 textbook author Edward Burger, Ph.D., met at Washington Middle School in Long Beach to announce the start of a year-long trial involving eighth-grade Algebra 1 students who have swapped their textbooks for customized iPads.
The 400 participants are from four school districts throughout California, including Long Beach, Riverside, Fresno, and San Francisco.
Participating teachers have one randomly selected class using the iPads while their other classes continue using the textbook version of the same material.
"Students can receive feedback on practice questions, write and save notes, receive guided instruction, access video lessons, and more with the touch of a finger," according to a recent press release.
"As the digital age reaches our classrooms it will transform education allowing for teaching our students in ways not before imagined, and California is poised to lead the way," said Secretary of Education Bonnie Reiss. "This pilot project represents an important step toward embracing a more interactive learning environment that will help our fantastic teachers and school leaders meet the changing needs of California’s students in the 21st-Century economy," said Ms. Reiss in the press release.
Despite the general positivity from the product maker and educators, skeptics wonder if the interactive technology, with all of its features, will be effective or a distraction for teens.
Results of the research findings are expected by fall 2011.