iPod touches are making a difference in Oregon. The Canby School District completed a pilot last year and those behind the program are generous about sharing what they've learned. I've been reading the school district's wiki for some time, and a recent article written about their pilot on O'Reilly Radar is impressive.
Joe Morelock, Director of Technology & Innovation for the district, posted slides from his presentation Mobile Devices in Canby SD: Meeting the Needs of Every Student. It details exactly how many devices the district uses and shares achievement data. On Joe's slides you can see that more students in classrooms with iPod touches met math and reading criteria on the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. Other slides show an increase in reading fluency and large gains of almost two years on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
The school district was so thrilled with the results of the pilot that they are rolling out iPod touches to each and every third grader this school year. They are also running pilots of iPads in various grade levels.
Joe's slides have some telling quotes from teachers:
"This is the most fun I have had teaching in the last 25 years." -Deana Calcagno, Fifth Grade Teacher
"The best usage was the voice memos to record rough drafts. Students caught errors in their writing and actually revised it when it didn’t ‘sound right.’ Being able to record their voice and use the iPods motivated them to improve their writing skills." -Jacquie Fitch, Fourth Grade Teacher
"The iPods are changing non-readers into readers. It's amazing. Thank you." -Joan Flora, High School Reading Teacher
The Canby School District's has a fantastic wiki to support their handheld-using teachers. It's called the iPod & iPad User Group Wiki and has a wealth of information. It has a blog with classroom ideas, project examples, and lessons. Thanks to those in Canby School District for sharing!
While there isn't a whole lot of research that's specific to iPod touch and iPad on the web, you can browse some research-related sites I've bookmarked on Delicious. There are quite a few wikis devoted to Apple handheld's and I've bookmarked the ones I've come across. If you've got research or a wiki to share, please leave them in the comments. These kinds of resources can certainly be helpful when writing grants and when convincing administration to bring handhelds into classrooms.