Six schools across four California school districts are testing a math curriculum that will feature iPads instead of textbooks. Four hundred iPads are being distributed to be used in Algebra classes. The schools are partnering with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which is providing the e-textbooks. Students to receive an iPad will be randomly selected, and their progress will be charted against students using traditional, bound textbooks.
The students with iPads will have access to over 400 videos, a homework coach feature and animated instructions on how to complete assignments. The iPad will also allow students to take audio or written notes. “This is a seminal moment. It marks the fundamental shift from print delivery of curriculum to digital,” said John Sipe, vice president of K-12 sales at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He also said that the firm elected to conduct the research study to better understand the ramifications of digital technology in the classroom. It will be interesting to see if digital tools will improve students’ test performance. It seems that no matter the platform, the amount of energy and time students choose to apply to their studies will be the most important factor in learning.
The four districts involved in the pilot program are San Francisco Unified District, Riverside Unified District, Long Beach Unified District and Fresno Unified District.