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iPads: game changers or money paperweights? New study tells us little

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An interesting and problematic study from Northern Ireland about iPads in early-years settings hit the interweb today. Interesting because it makes some extraordinary claims about their efficacy that, if true and replicable, could revolutionise the way we teach in those settings; and problematic because  that ‘if’ has a lot of heavy lifting to do.
The study ‘Mobile Devices in Early Learning’ was carried out for two years and involved 650 pupils in five Belfast primary schools and five nursery schools.
‘Schools which took part were in some of the most deprived areas of the city.
They were each supplied with sets of iPads for nursery, primary one, primary two and primary three classes.’ (1)

What did they find? Fans of chalk boards and cuneiform look away now:
The introduction of digital technology has had a positive impact on the development of children's literacy and numeracy skillsContrary to initial expectations, principals and teachers report that the use of iPads…