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2011-2012 Elbow Valley - 1:1 iPads in a Grade Four Elementary Classroom

Innovative Strategies and Technologies Proposal


Submitted by:           Thea Morris

                                    Grade Four

                                    Elbow Valley Elementary School

Submitted to:                        Barry Allen c/o Rocky View School Division


Main Goal: To participate in an inquiry research project to determine the effectiveness of using iPads:

o   one-to-one for an entire year

o   infusing throughout the grade four curriculum and most importantly,

o   explore new innovative strategies for meeting Universal Design for Learning


Last year I was fortunate to be part of a team of teachers who were successful in receiving grant money to purchase 30 iPads, iPad cart, money for apps, iPad designated Mac computer. During this active research project each teacher explored how iPads can be used in different capacities in the different grades. I was able to work with the iPads with my students full time for a one month period to explore how iPads can be used as a ubiquitous learning device. During this time my students participated in a couple of small and one major inquiry project (because of time constraints). During this month long research I determined that the iPad is an invaluable learning device for a number of reasons including:

o   Highly engaging

o   Provides instant access to information

o   Levels the playing field of learning for all learners

o   Provides students with multiple ways of representing their learning

o   Very easy to use with a very easy to use keyboard

o   Very user friendly because of its size and battery life

o   Easily opens up the limitations for all learners

o   (For more reasons, please refer to the Wiki titled ‘Thea’s Morris’ Reflections’)

At the end of the month-long research project the iPads were no longer accessible because the other teachers who were part of the proposal now had their turn to pursue their action research. Consequently, although considerable knowledge and understandings were gained during this short time period, it is felt more time will allow for continued and deeper investigation of the use of this technology. Furthermore, as occurs with all new learning, I still have many unanswered questions and wish to further investigate the use of this tool at a much deeper and continuous level.


At Elbow Valley Elementary the AISI focus this year is Project-Based Learning which intuitively reflects the RVS Professional Learning Model. I wish to pursue the key elements of this model including Balanced Assessment, Understanding By Design and Universal Design For Learning. I am most interested in the later element because I see the iPad as a learning tool providing many different options for all of my students to be successful learners.  This year I have a range of academic abilities in my class including those who would benefit from the assistive technologies that iPad provides but I also have a number of gifted and talented students who would greatly benefit. The possibilities for enriched learning are very exciting. Since this proposal asks for one iPad to be used exclusively and full time all year for each student, I have many ideas I wish to explore how it can be used. Some possibilities are novel studies in Language Arts, Word Study/Spelling skills through an inquiry approach, many different inquiry projects that are of interest to the students and meet Science and Social Studies learner outcomes. The iPad is a multi-faceted tool with its ability to take photographs, video, provide music, work with images and text allowing the students to represent their learning in many different ways. I am also interested in having the students share and/or showcase their new learning with each other, the school community and their parents by cooperatively and collaboratively posting their work on a class Wiki and through Google Docs. In other words, having worked with the iPads in a ubiquitous manner last year for a short period of time, I can see the possibilities for working with them full time for a longer period of time are limitless and look forward to further exploring.


Should this proposal be accepted, I look forward to not only researching various innovative strategies with my students, but I am also willing to share my findings in the form of a Wiki with weekly posted reflections and a final summary with input from my fellow researchers… my students in the form of either an iMovie or a podcast. This would be similar to what I produced for last year’s innovative technology research project.


Requested Technology and Costs




27 16 GB iPads


(about 14,000.00)

One for each student and the teacher

27 iPad Smart Covers


(about $1215.00)

To protect the iPad and  use as a stand

1 iPad synching cart


Charge, synch, update each iPad

Funds for purchasing apps


Having researched apps last year, I know which ones are the best quality and most effective

1 Air Print Capacity Printer (wireless)


About $399.00

Depends on one purchased

Print some of the work in hard copy form for sharing and documenting.

1 Apple Digital AV Adapter


Projects image on the iPad onto large screen

1 Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit


Upload photos taken using a camera

Professional Development


To pursue further professional learning about how to use the iPad and how to use it facility effective inquiry learning

Total Cost: about $19,000.00



Thank you for considering this proposal.

Respectfully, submitted by Thea Morris




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