Do iPads distract or help in the classroom?

Do iPads distract or help in the classroom?
TRI-CITIES - Are iPads just a neat tool, or are they actually making a difference on learning? We looked at the connection between tablets and test scores.

And with a swipe, the learning begins. It's a movement to go 'digital.' A move not everyone believes is best.

“They should not be allowed in schools, period for students,” said Richland mom Jackie Reeves.

Jackie Reeves has a child in the Richland schools. She believes iPads interfere with learning. Jackie worries kids will be online when teachers aren't looking.

“Everything's a social network, and I think it's a big distraction to the learning process,” added Reeves.

Administrators recognize instructors need to monitor how students use their devices. And say the results show it's been an immense success.

Pasco officials say iPads are directly boosting test scores. A pilot program in Pasco revealed kids using iPads had the highest point gain in MAP scores.That's compared to other third graders in the district. Richland says some middle schoolers have jumped two to four years in curriculum. And that's just in one semester.

"Because it has a bunch of different apps on it…You can change the different maths on super ninja,” said fourth grader Nathan Alvarado.

"They have attached to their devices, and are excited about their devices,” said Chess Elementary Principal Wendi Manthei.

Pasco invested the most in mobile devices, buying about 800 in all. Richland has 500 iPads and almost four times as many iPads. And anticipates more in the coming months. But it all depends comes down to money. Each iPad costs the district 400-bucks -- so it adds up quickly.

All in an effort to equip this next generation.

Richland will be rolling out a program called Bring Your Own Device in the coming weeks. It allows students to bring their own tablets to school, and use the district's Wifi.