Smithsonian researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said that use of iPads to explore 3-D simulations of the universe is learnt better than conventional teaching.
The study suggests that iPads and other tablets can improve student understanding of challenging scientific concepts like astronomical scale.
Lead author Matthew H. Schneps said that these devices offer students opportunities to do things that are otherwise impossible in traditional classroom environments, and let them manipulate virtual objects using natural hand gestures, and this appears to stimulate experiences that lead to stronger learning.
Schneps and his colleagues looked at gains in learning among 152 high-school students who used iPads to explore simulated space, and compared them to 1,184 students who used more traditional instructional approaches.
The researchers found that while the traditional approaches produced no evident gain in understanding, the iPad classrooms showed strong gains and their understanding improved with as little as 20 minutes of iPad use.