TES, the Times Educational Supplement
, reports that the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) tested the efficiency of iPads in a mock IGSCE biology examination of 11th grade pupils, becoming the first board in the UK to use the digital tablets for such purposes.
TES quotes the Principal of Impington Village College in Cambridgeshire, Robert Campbell, as saying the class was “cautiously optimistic” about this trial and they thought it sounded “exciting and different.” Mr. Campbell carried on to say that
The potential to do this has been there for a few years; examiners already mark electronically. Why shouldn’t they look at doing the same at this end?
Exam boards have to provide high-quality printed materials, including supplementary booklets, so it could save them a lot of money, as well as having real benefits for students.
According to TES, a spokeswoman for CIE stated that the reaction from the students was positive but this was only a trial and no plans at present were being made to introduce digital tablets formally into actual exam settings.
Since the increasing popularity of the iPad can be seen by Apple’s soaring first quarter sales
, they sold nearly 12 million iPads between January and April 2012, a 151 percent unit increase over the same period a year ago, it is hardly surprising that forward thinking educational examination boards such as Cambridge understand the electronic digital age is not only here to stay but is changing the setup of the traditional classroom and exam setting.
After all, to show how easy it is to use tablet devices, for those teachers who may feel digitally challenged, The Telegraph reports
that in ’a communication and mental stimulus experiment’ apes got a taste of the digital era by using iPads in a Miami zoo in Florida.
The idea of using the iPad is so people can communicate with the apes using an electronic tablet device if they are not familiar with the sign system used by the orangutans and their usual handlers.