2011-2012 Banded Peak - UDL and iPads Findings

Brief description of our project and research questions:


Our goal – to put UDL into action.  Our project - to learn about iPads in the classroom as a component of instruction and assessment design.

We received 25 iPads in February, 2012.  Each classroom teacher was given 2 iPads for their classroom to learn about, use and share.


Our 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

Essential Questions

How do iPads and Apps make the learning environment more meaningful and accessible to students?


How do iPads and Apps make curriculum more accessible to learners?


How do we help students and parent partners to see them as tools and not toys?

Assessment Evidence

Students who benefit from using Apps on the iPad

Collection of Apps that were useful and for what purpose.

Research Findings:

First – this is an ongoing project.  Four months is a short time to uncover all the possibilities the iPad and Apps have to offer.  We have made a few steps in our learning about iPads and in practicing the principals of UDL in our day to day work with them.  We will continue this journey into the fall.  As our teachers are becoming more familiar and comfortable with both, they are offering the iPads as a tool to make learning more meaningful and accessible to the students.  In September, we will have opportunities to use iPads and Apps to foster communication for a new nonverbal autistic student.  In September, a number of teachers are committed to continued exploration of the iPad as a tool during Daily Five and Café reading and writing experiences.  Our AISI Action Research project will focus on literacy enhancement across our K-8 levels and we will align iPad research to this goal.



Below are a few comments from teachers and students that illustrate the impact:

Gr. 1/2

“All students work with the iPad every day during Daily Five”  (reading acquisition skills, reading experiences (ie: Magic Ink Books, Molly series) and math centers (ie: various apps for skills practise).


“We have regular weekly conversations together as a class about how to navigate the screen, how to be critical and how to be purposeful about what they do on the iPad”


Gr. 3/4

“My students use story apps regularly (Molly series, fairytales).  They love them.  They are very helpful in tracking words, replaying, reading along and recording student reading.”


Gr. 7/8

“The recording capabilities used during Speech and Debate classes, allow students to critically analyze their readings and make revisions.”



1.  Decreased resistance to work (the task could be tailored to the needs of the student – large calculator/ simple keyboard/ highlighted story reading/ ease of portability/ ability to document their own learning

2.  Offered another mode of output (Scribble, Story Builder, Pictello)


Recommendations for others

1. Visit other schools, teachers and programs that use iPads.

2.  Find 2 or 3 good online and ongoing blogs/wikis to follow regularly. We have posted five valuable wikis/blogs/sites to follow on Google Docs.

3.  Meet regularly with colleagues.  I would suggest either one day a week before school or an hour after school once a month, set up a “Tech Talk” where you gather to share apps, ideas, issues.

4.  Incorporate iPads into your planning

5.  Computer syncing and teachers being responsible for App purchase are two issues that

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