2010-2011 Ralph McCall - iPad Research

Big Idea:
We are looking to implement an adaptive technology that will engage reluctant and struggling learners. This technology is easy to use and very interactive. This technology will also be adaptable to all grades and student needs.

Technology Requested
We are looking to implement iPads for the following reasons:

  • iPads have a ten hour battery life which will last the entire school day. They are also 'always on' devices (no shut down or boot up) which allows for short transition times between different activities and students.
  • iPads are exceptionally easy to use. Our grade one teacher has been using his iPad with his grade one class since it was released in February. He has indicated that there is really no learning curve as far as the input interface. The students "just know what to do. All I have to do is show them how hard they need to touch".
  • • One grade one teacher and our ESL specialist have been using iPads with students since the beginning of the year and have witnessed the enthusiasm that these students display when they get to work with the iPad. One reluctant learner, when asked to practise letter formation on the iPad, said, "Oh, this is my favourite game!" This engagement has translated into better focus and increased retention with these students.
  • There are many apps for the iPad that allow for language translation, quick study guides and opportunities to view multimedia presentations of subjects being studied. Our ESL specialist has been using these apps on her iPod and her iPad with students.
  • There are many apps that we have been using to support emergent readers and writers. These apps range from letter formation to sight words to sentence structure. There are many mathematical apps that we have been using with students for practise, reference and problem solving.
  • There are also productivity apps so that more adept students can create word documents, spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations, iMovie like projects and even comic strips. All of these products can be transferred to other computers to be viewed by a larger audience or even printed off. The advantage of producing these works on the iPad is that the apps simplify the process so that it is extremely easy to use.
  • All of these apps are on a single device so that a teacher can go from a grade one classroom into a grade eight classroom and all the activities are stored on a single device.
  • Access to many different books via either the iBook store, amazon.com or even PDF's. Many of these books can be read by the device itself through the built in speech software.
  • After having used the iPad with students, both our ESL specialist and our grade one teacher have indicated that the best use for these devices is not to use them as teaching tools, where the teacher uses the device to show a lesson, rather the best use is to give the device to the students so that they may interact with their own learning. We plan on putting these devices into the hands of students so that they can interact with an engaging piece of technology, while also interacting with their particular curriculum.

Areas of Focus:
We are seeking a set of 15 iPads for use as adaptive technology for students in three different areas:

  • English Language Learners - a group of five iPads would be used for this group of students. The teacher's assistant who works with this group would use two for work with younger students, while three iPads would be follow the older students in their classes.
  • Early Literacy - a group of four iPads would be utilized by the early literacy team as they work with students. They work with many students from Kindergarten to Grade 2.
  • Resource Centre - the remaining iPads would be utilized by the resource centre as they work with a diverse groups of students with diverse educational needs.

One of our grade one teachers and one resource assistant have indicated huge success and engagement from their use with the iPads and we are looking to expand on this success to other students. As the students and teachers work together with these devices we are more than willing to share our successes and any obstacle with other schools.

Cost and Budget:
15 iPads- (15*549)+5% = $8646.46
The budget set aside for the iPads would be $500.00 for the educational apps needed for the students. Many of the apps are inexpensive (under five dollars) or free. New iPads come with a one year warranty from Apple.

21st Century/Three Year Plan Connections:

  • This will give struggling students access to contemporary technology in order to get them at grade standards.
  • This will help students in distinct programs (ESL) meet grade level standards in Language Arts/Math.
  • Staff is eager to have PD from our in house 'experts' on the use and implementation of the iPads. This PD will positively impact their teaching practice.
  • The iPads lend themselves to different learning styles. The students will be able to interact with the curriculum in a way that meets their individual learning style.
  • This is a contemporary technology that will be used as an instructional tool with students and the students will be able to utilize the device to uncover learning on an independent level.
  • This will give staff access to a contemporary technological tool and with two members of our staff already adept in the use of this device, there will be plenty of support for those who need guidance or have further questions.


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Ralph McCall School

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