UC education researcher announces iPad plan to reduce paper trail

July 28, 2010

A new technology initiative to measure the effectiveness of the University of Cincinnati's efforts to build excellence in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) education is also aimed at cutting the usage of thousands of pages of paper, as well as opening up shelves of storage space.

The project will test 35 Apple iPads to collect educational research in a federally funded UC partnership to improve teacher quality in elementary science education, says Carla Johnson, associate professor of science education for the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH).

The iPads will be used to collect survey results and performance evaluations on students and teachers participating in a CECH partnership with a large, Utah urban school district to improve science education in elementary grades - where science was not always emphasized. The three-year partnership, launched in 2009, is funded by a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences.

"This is an effort for UC researchers to reduce their carbon footprint. We go through tens of thousands of sheets of paper that are shipped back and forth for this kind of research each year - paper that also has to be stored for five years," says Johnson. "The technology will also cut back on the time of scanning all the paper used to collect the surveys and evaluations.

"Just in sending the information back to us, it can take as long as three months to enter and analyze the data. With the iPads, the data is entered immediately and could be analyzed that same day," Johnson says.

Johnson adds that she's also exploring how to effectively use the iPads to research UC's STEMM education partnerships with local K-12 schools.

University of Cincinnati

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