Are iPads and laptops improving students’ test scores? Not yet

Jul 24, 2017 by

Five years after Twin Cities schools began transforming classrooms by putting computers in the hands of students, there is little hard evidence the shift has improved academic achievement.

At least nine east metro school districts have programs that issue laptops or tablet computers to students. In the rest, students share technology through computer labs and laptop carts or bring their own devices from home.

“It keeps enhancing and changing what we can do,” said Jay Haugen, superintendent of Farmington schools, one of the first Twin Cities districts to provide every student with an Apple iPad.

More than 75,000 students in St. Paul and its suburbs have a school-issued device they take home every day, and the remaining students have access to devices at school.

Last school year, east metro districts spent more than $17 million on student technology.

The biggest bills were in the largest districts. St. Paul spent $9 million, and Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan spent about $2.7 million. Smaller districts where students share devices had significantly lower bills, such as the $250,000 student technology budget in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale district.

Meanwhile, student scores on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, or MCAs, which are given each year in English, mathematics and science, have largely remained stagnant.

Furthermore, Minnesota’s work to close the achievement gap between low-income and minority students and their peers has not been as successful as educators had hoped. Students who are black, Hispanic and Native American continue to score proficient on state tests at significantly lower rates than white students.

Source: Are iPads and laptops improving students’ test scores? Not yet – Twin Cities

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