Seeking Evidence & Insights on iPad Integration in K-12 Education


 A classroom scene with students using iPads for various educational activities.

A couple of months ago on another social media site dedicated to connections between professionals, one user posted this short message: ‘Dear Schools, Stop buying iPads! Love, Grateful kids & teachers.’  The post continued, ‘iPads are consumption devices, not intended for knowledge construction.’  Since I helped launch a school’s 1:1 iPad program, have taught with iPad in a 1:1 setting, as well as assisted in the expansion and support of a 1:1 iPad program in a second school, this post struck me as both inflammatory and ill-informed.  

So, I went looking for the evidence.  While Apple and others (JAMF) have investigated and considered the impact of iPad in K-12 education (Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow - 2008, Apple Learning Technology Surveys - individual school-focused & ongoing, Creativity in Learning - 2019, iPad in Education: A Case Study of iPad Adoption and Use in a Primary School - 2012, iPad in Education Results - 2014, 2017, 2019) in addition to a lively discussion online, much of the information seemed outdated and in need of more teacher and student voice.  All of this is highlighted by the evolution of iPad since 2010 with advanced models launched on a regular cadence as well as new iOS versions each fall.

[*see more in the ‘limited’ Resources List below - including a few articles associated with the broader topic of digital media & screen time. MANY more resources have been shared previously within the ADE Community]

Our school is currently evaluating the potential benefits of transitioning from MacBooks to iPads in our one-to-one program for grades 7-12. Given the logistical complexities and significant financial investment associated with such a shift, it is crucial for us to gather comprehensive data and evidence to ensure that this change will effectively support the teaching and learning needs of both faculty and students. 


To this end, I am reaching out to the global ADE Community to solicit testimonials, anecdotal experiences, relevant news articles, institutional data, and research studies that highlight the impact of iPads in educational settings.

Your contributions will be invaluable in shaping not only our decision-making process but for other schools in a similar situation. Whether you have success stories, challenges, unique capabilities, course-related limitations, or specific examples of how iPads have enhanced (or hindered) teaching and learning in your schools, we would greatly appreciate your input. The mobile platform, accessibility options, and pending AI/GAI capabilities are all compelling features in need of explicit connections to how teachers instruct and how students learn.  

In return for your collaborative efforts, I will compile all the collected information into a comprehensive report. This report will be shared back to the ADE Forum, providing a valuable resource for other institutions that may also be considering this transition.

Thank you in advance for your willingness to share your experiences and insights. Together, we can make informed decisions that will benefit our educational communities.


Amick, A.W. & Cross, N. (2014). ‘An almost paperless organic chemistry course with the use of iPads’. Journal of Chemical Education 91(5), pp.753–756. Viewed 20 Aug 2021;UUID=1f5909f273d7079bb075e56ff25bfb7f

Luo, L.L., et al. (2018). ‘Laptop versus longhand note taking: effects on lecture notes and achievement’. Instructional Science, 46(6), pp.947–971. Viewed 20 Aug 2021

Mueller, P. A., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2014). ‘The pen is mightier than the keyboard: Advantages of longhand over laptop note taking.’ Psychological Science, 25, pp.1159–1168. Viewed 19 Aug 2021

Pastore, C (2020). ‘Stress management in college students: why journaling is the most effective technique for this demographic.’ SUNY, May. Viewed 19 Aug 2021

Roessingh H. (2020). ‘Note-taking by hand: A powerful tool to support memory.’ The Conversation, 31 August. Viewed 16 Aug 2021

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