As iPad use continues to grow, assessing how we use them becomes an important topic of study. This includes what kinds of tasks we use the tablet for, and ergonomic issues related to using the device.
Boston University is launching a study this fall among children of military members in an effort to help improve their math skills and teach healthy computing. They are currently looking for additional iPads to help in their efforts.
Professor Karen Jacobs works with the Boston University Department of Occupational Therapy. The study, titled iPad use and ergonomic training: Its effect on math achievement in middle school students, will investigate if the iPad can enhance students’ math skills along with their engagement in math-related activities. Training in the importance of correct posture for iPad use will also be implemented to increase student’s ergonomic awareness of mobile technology.
Jacob and a colleague, University of Massachusetts Graduate Gloria Foley, need about 50 iPads to conduct the study among 6th grade students. They have obtained funding for 20 so far and are looking for additional donations. In a note to Cult of Mac, Jacobs noted:
Gloria and I receive no personal funding for doing this study. It is conducted because of our personal commitments to support students healthy use of technology and our desire to support local children of military families.
We were able to obtain funding for 20 iPad 2s, but to conduct the study effective with the ability for students to take the iPads home with them each day, we will need 30 more.
[UPDATE: corrected to note that Jacobs is the Professor on the project, Foley an independent investigative assistant]