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8 Positive Findings from 4 Year 1:1 iPad Initiative

by Kelly Walsh on October 26, 2014


Student Use and Behavior Analysis Shows Positive Results from Methodical 1:1 iPad Program Implementation

The Franklin Academy High School in North Carolina initiated a 1:1 iPad program at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. Over the course of the following two years, the pilot was expanded to include all grades (9-12) in the high school. In April, 2014, the Academy released results of a study that sheds light on the impact that the use of the iPad has had on academics, and the development of the vital non-cognitive skills that their program is founded upon.

The incorporation of the iPad into teaching and learning at the Academy has been led by School Head David Mahaley, who has written several books on the subject: Teaching and Learning with the iPad and Teaching and Learning With the iPad: 20 Days to Expert. Professional development is a fundamental part of the successful program at the Academy. The expectation has been set that fluency with the device is integral to its successful use, as well as the promotion of gains in resource savings (the reduction of copies, printing, printing supplies, etc.).


15 Outcomes of a Franklin Academy Student

At the Academy, close attention is paid to the formation of character by instructing and challenging students to absorb and practice the following strengths and virtues. These are incorporated into rigorous curriculum frameworks.

1. Self-Reliant
2. Critical Thinker
3. Virtuous Leader with Well-Developed Judgment
4. Continuous Learner
5. Competent Technical Skills
6. Truth Seeker
7. Unfailing Integrity
8. Astute Problem Solver
9. Cooperative and Contributive Team Member
10. Strong Work Ethic
11. Dreams and Aspirations to Change the World
12. Traditional American Values and Entrepreneurialism
13. Well Developed People & Communication Skills
14. Gratitude
15. Healthy Mind, Spirit, and Body

The Franklin Academy’s approach to teaching and learning has been very successful. Students in the charter school consistently rank in the 90th percentile on the widely recognized Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), which is well above the national average. They also average 16oo or higher in the SAT.

Report Methodology

Students were asked to respond to 10 questions using a 5 option Likert Scale with ratings from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. These questions were based on assumptions by the administration about the impact that the iPad has on teaching and learning in the classroom. The questions target key behaviors, processes, and value-added qualities of bringing this technology to the hands of the students. The survey was made available to approximately 475 students, and 242 students completed it.

Positive Findings

Study results indicated that these students exhibit the following positive student behaviors:

  • Increased motivation in students
  • High confidence level with the use of technology
  • Opportunities for collaboration
  • Organizational benefits
  • Efficiency in completing tasks
  • Self-directed and extended learning opportunities
  • Increased independence towards becoming a continuous learner
  • Developing skills of a problem solver

Let’s examine some of these findings more closely.

Efficiency in completing tasks

Increased efficiency with classroom processes was one of the goals identified for students when the iPad platform was adopted. On the 1 to 5 Likert Scale, 72% chose 4 or 5 in response to the question, “I am more efficient with completing my assignments using the iPad“. Below we see the results for this question displayed graphically. “The students clearly feel strongly that their personal efficiency with completing assignments is facilitated by using the iPad.”


Increased independence towards becoming a continuous learner

75% of respondents selected 4 or 5 on the Likert Scale in reponse to the question, “Use of the iPad helps me work better independently to complete tasks and solve problems“. “Part of the use of the iPad in the 1:1 environment is the expectation that each student has a set of tools at their disposal to complete and solve the problems presented to them through the learning activities in the classroom. While group work is found in our classrooms, students are encouraged to take individual responsibility for their learning and effort in completing assignments”. The strong positive response certainly indicates that students feel that using the iPad has helped them achieve this goal.


Opportunities for collaboration

This question, “The iPad helps me work with my peers to complete tasks and solve problems“, received some of the strongest positive responses on all of the questions on the survey, with a combined 76% positive response.

“Working within groups is important in developing positive learning behaviors within students. The collaboration potential with the iPad is supported by the results in the survey. Student success in groups requires a selection of apps to provide the necessary connections. This is facilitated by our learning management system (LMS). The students can be assigned groups to work on tasks and provided a common space
to store and share documents. The iPad provides access to the information outside of the normal class time so collaboration and learning continues. Working with a host of apps, students become self-directed problem solvers to discover ways these components can work together to make for an efficient and rich learning process. It has been noted by staff that students now see the iPad as a toolbox from which they can select from a variety of tools to solve problems posed in instruction.”


Challenges, Opportunities

The responses to the survey were largely positive, but some challenges were noted as well. These revolved around the transition from hard copy to electronic copy and reading and writing extended works on the device.

In terms of additional opportunities coming out of the program, the economic ramifications related to conservation of resources, such as paper copies, and the reallocation of funds into supporting a 1:1 initiative, are worth noting. Continued developments in mobile technology, applications, and connectivity should result in additional economic advantages to providing students mobile learning devices.


ipad education conference

Come and meet David Mahaley, and many Franklin Academy teachers and students at the 2014 Teaching and Learning with the iPad Conference, Nov 20 -22 in Raleigh, NC!

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Book Review – Teaching and Learning With the iPad: 20 Days to Expert
Top 5 Reasons to Attend the 2014 Teaching & Learning with the iPad Conference
Book Review – Teaching and Learning With The iPad by David Mahaley


Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, where he also teaches. In 2009, Walsh founded He frequently delivers presentations and training on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. His eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book is available here. Walsh became the Community Administrator for the Flipped Learning Network in June of 2016. In his "spare time" he also writes, records, and performs original music ... stop by and have a listen!

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, or those of other writers, and not those of my employer. - K. Walsh]

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