Although it's a new technology, there have been a few studies about the use of iPads in the classroom. One teacher in Ohio found that high school sophomores who used iPads scored better on reading and writing sections of standardized tests. Another more widespread study found that math scores in one California school improved by 20 percent over the course of a full school year.
But tablets also prove useful outside of upper-level classrooms; the great thing about the iPad as far as teachers are concerned is that these devices can benefit students from K-through-12.
From a young age, students can use a variety of educational apps like StoryPatch or ComicStrip, which allow kids to create their own picture books or comics. Music apps can help teach budding musicians how to read music in ways that are interactive instead of simply learning notes printed on the pages of sheet music. Art apps let kids draw and paint, as well as helping them to understand more complex relationships of light, shape and color. Open up one of the many photo apps and you may have a future photographer on your hands.
And those are just a few of the more creative apps available. Interactive textbooks let kids take quizzes and tests, thumb through thousands of HD quality photos and films, or even interact with the galaxy around them with astronomy apps. Kids can participate in virtual science experiments, manipulate 3-D images with a simple touch, and connect with a lab or study partner on the other side of the world. The idea of a child learning to speak a foreign language through a live video chat with a student from that country is something that teachers and parents are quickly embracing. Of course, security and Internet is a major factor, so the teachers will have to carefully monitor use. But, the future of the iPad and other tablet devices in the classroom is much like the products themselves -- virtually limitless.