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2011-2012 Banded Peak - Universal Design for Learning with iPads

Technology Innovation Fund Proposal
Developed & Submitted by:
Kim Agnew (Gr. 3/4 teacher) & Marla Mulloy (Learning Support teacher)
Banded Peak School



iPads

Universal Design for Learning principles are an integral part of Rocky View’s Learning Model. Banded Peak is keen to embark on action research into the use of iPads as a component of instruction and assessment design, to create adaptable and flexible learning environments, to increase student access, enjoyment and active participation in learning.

Banded Peak has a desire to put UDL into action. This requires an analysis of the social, emotional, communication and academic needs of the diverse learners in today’s classrooms. Methods, materials, resources and technology used to design effective and pedagogically sound instruction and assessment are being explored. Research indicates that active participation in knowledge construction allows for deeper understanding, and technology can provide unique opportunities for individualize participation leading to enhanced achievement.

The Enduring Understandings of Universal Design for Learning are:

•    Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a flexible approach to curricular design based on brain research and proactively designing for diversity (including disability).
•    In a universally-designed learning environment, technology is leveraged to address the needs of a broad range of learners.
•    In a universally-designed learning environment, curriculum is accessible to a broad range of learners significantly reducing the need for accommodations.
•    In universally-designed learning environments, students will be provided with the optimal balance between resources and challenge. They will become expert learners.
•    UDL is built on trust, teamwork and collaboration supported by a community of expert learners.

Adapted from Center for Applied Special Technology. UDL toolkit: Model of Internet Inquiry Process http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/toolkits/tk_introduction.cfm?tk_id=81
Objectives:
•    Reduce learning barriers and provide equitable opportunities to learning for all learners
•    Increase the number of students who have access to quality learning opportunities based on a responsive learning model
•    Explore relationships, trust and collaborative learning that can develop between students when using technology
•    Assist students in developing meta-cognition, increasing self-regulating behaviors
•    To encourage risk taking, allowing students to become confident, independent learners
•    Improve student engagement
•    Improve relevancy and authenticity of student learning
•    Accelerate student learning

Rationale:
In the book, Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age, Rose and Meyer (2002) state,
New technologies offer us the opportunity to respond to the multifaceted individual differences in our student population by providing more varied media, tools, and methods.  Because of their inherent flexibility, digital technologies can adjust to learner differences, enabling teachers to (1) differentiate problems a student may have using particular kinds of learning media from more general learning problems and (2) draw upon a student’s other strengths and interests that may be blocked by the exclusive use of printed text.

Connections to 21st Century Learning:

Powerful new teaching and assessment practices can be the result when the potential of technology and pedagogically sound practice merge. iPads may provide benefits to wider range of students. Research into the use of iPads in education is limited. Banded Peak’s action research may provide insight into the power and limitations of the tool. Initial use with a small sampling of students indicates many positive benefits.

iPads offer students and teachers a means for engaging with resources that are not otherwise accessible. Their interactivity offer students new ways to purposefully explore ideas and interact with materials in more dynamic responsive environments. Immediate feedback is provided allowing the child to change their understanding or approach to learning. Student time can be used more effectively when a variety of quality resources and tools are readily available. The tactile, interactivity required when using an iPad, offers a mode of learning that few other instructional tools provide.

The portability of iPads allows a greater number of students to participate and engage in a broader range of learning activities and encourages collaboration. iPads allow multi-faceted representation of learning, allowing learners to express understanding in ways that appeal to their individual preferences and processes. It also provides teachers the ability to gather assessment data, record interactions and observations of students.

iPads are becoming an increasingly powerful technology used to organize, teach and manage behavior in school settings. Several applications offer teachers and students tools for monitoring behavior, helping students reflect and build meta-cognitive strategies to increase student performance.
Students with communication, sensory, cognitive, physical, language, and learning challenges, and students within the normal range of diversity within combined classrooms benefit from access to technology. Access to technology can reduce barriers and enhance complex learning environments. A multitude of APPs allow students to interact with information. Information presented in multi-media invites participation at levels that can present new challenges to continue the learning but they can also support students, engaging them in ways other tools and instruction cannot.

iPads provide flexibility.  Teachers can immediately respond and change an application to better suit the child. Greater adaptability and more responsive differentiation is inherent component of iPads. Teaching strategies can be driven by the needs of students. iPads allow different processes for learning, facilitating the acquisition of knowledge through varied presentation of content. Many APPs, when carefully selected, provide opportunity for constructing meaning and applying knowledge in new and novel ways.
 
iPads may allow for learning activities and environments to be designed so they are increasingly meaningful and accessible for all students, ensuring opportunities for greater challenge and depth in learning. More participatory learning experiences, which build student confidence and independence, adhering to UDL principles, may result.

Action Research participants:
Banded Peak teachers - 2-3 iPads will be available daily per classroom to facilitate Universal Design for Learning

Connections to our Divisional and School Education Plans:
Outcome 1.2 Learning is universally accessible.
(RVS) Percentage of parents and students who agree students have equitable opportunities to be successful.
(RVS) Percentage of staff that understands and implements Universal Design for Learning
(RVS) Percentage of students who agree digital technology enhances their learning at school.
Strategies:  
(RVS)Develop, implement standards, and provide professional learning for universally accessible classrooms (Action on Inclusion).
(BP)Continue focused, intentional staff learning and implementation around the Rocky View Schools Learning Model: Understanding by Design, Universal Design for Learning & Balanced Assessment 

Goal 2.1 Learners direct and feel ownership for their learning.
(RVS) Percentage of teachers, parents and students who feel students have a strong sense of ownership for their learning.
2.2 Learners demonstrate 21st Century competencies.
(RVS) Percentages of students that teachers observe as proficient in using 21st C competencies in their learning.
(RVS) Percentage of staff and students who agree their school/the jurisdiction operates successfully as a 21st Century learning culture.
2.4 Learners flourish in a culture of excellence.
(RVS) Percentage of staff, parents, and students who agree that their school/the jurisdiction is building a culture of excellence.
Strategies:
Continue to value a culture of risk-taking, focusing on the individual exploration and the application of digital resources to enhance teaching and learning.

3.1    Learning occurs any time, any place, any path, any pace.
(RVS) Percentage of staff, parents and students who agree students have access to multiple learning pathways.
Strategies:
Research, identify, and promote instructional practices and tools to support teachers in the creation of personalized learning environments.

3.2 Instructional design engages each learner.
(RVS) Percentage of teachers who incorporate the tenets of RVS’ Learning Model so that all learners are engaged through a variety of strategies, settings, and formats.
(RVS) Percentage of staff, parents and students satisfied with their ability to access, understand and use assessment information to improve learning.
(RVS) Percentage of teachers, parents and students who agree instruction meets the individual learning styles of students.
Strategies:
Provide professional learning opportunities for teachers to understand and effectively use RVS’ Learning Model.

3.3 Instructional design enriches the learning experience.
(RVS) Percentage of teachers who agree they use inter-disciplinary practices.
(RVS) Percentage of staff, parents and students who agree they have access to authentic learning experiences.
(RVS) Percentage of School Annual Result Reports that provide evidence of authentic and trans-disciplinary learning experiences.
3.4 Instructional practices empower learners.
(RVS) Percentage of parents and students who believe teachers inspire students to learn.
Strategies:
Provide seed funding for innovative 21st C instructional practices.

4.1 Learners use digital technologies to enhance learning.
(RVS) Percentage of staff that use digital technology as an instructional tool.
(RVS) Percentage of staff and students who agree they have access to digital technology at school.
(RVS) Percentage of parents and students who agree teachers use digital technology to actively engage students.
Strategies:
Provide seed funding for innovative 21st C technology projects.
Adopt and implement ISTE Net standards for administrators, teachers and students.
Create and provide professional learning on the use of digital resources for improving learning, with the aim of expanding the number of 21st C leads per school.


Budget:

25 -  MC770C/A 32 GB iPad 3  @ $598 = $14,950.00

25 -- iPad Cases @ $45.00 = $1,125.00

iPad Applications -- Unknown -specifics yet to be determined -- $1,500.00

1 MacBook- transfer of data to devices  - $1,168.00
(includes AppleCare Protection plan)

Professional Learning in use of iPads and in UDL
Sub release
(Visitation to other schools, researching APPs, designing lessons based on learner profiles)
Includes opportunities for Library Tech to do visitations to learn about supporting UDL & this technology
10 sub days @ $215.49 = $2,154.90
Total:                                        $20,897.90

School Council is supporting the “Technology Innovation Proposal” with the purchase of a specifically designed cart for charging iPads.

Sharing the Learning:
Technology Innovation Leads (Kim Agnew & Marla Mulloy) will:
•    Share their & their colleagues understandings with other teachers in the division
•    Submit an executive summary and a podcast or video to RVS summarizing the learnings from the exploration of the technologies and strategies (any staff using iPads for UDL will be asked to assist)
•    Agree to permit other RVS staff to observe use of technology as requested

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in technology innovations projects to support the learning of all Banded Peak students.

Kim Agnew & Marla Malloy
Teachers, Banded Peak School

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