Monday, November 5, 2012

Initial Student Response and Learning - TLLP

It has been about a week and a half since introducing our participating students to the iPad. Here are some learning's based on the journals that their EA's have been keeping.

Our Grade 2 Student:

  • Lots of excitement at first, which caused some difficulty with the following of instructions.
  • It seems as though our student was distracted by the novelty of the device.
  • The student likes to join in where she can (e.g. singing with apps that have music embedded in them) (music is a strength for this student). 
  • Her ability to follow EA instructions before engaging herself with the device is slowly improving. 
  • She is engaged in her learning and it appears as though she requires 15-20 minutes to "get into" her learning and make it an effective time. 
  • Her EA reports that she has the student follow a routine when it is time to use the iPad (e.g. her hands stay in her lap while setting up, listening and repeating instructions before beginning).
  • She shows some frustration when she touches the screen and nothing happens.
  • Really enjoys apps that involve matching.
  • The last entry reports that the student has made some great progress in starting up the device, accessing apps that have been downloaded for her (she has her own folder), and listening to and following EA instructions.
  • She seems to be showing more patience when interacting with her EA and the iPad.  
  • In Math the counting apps are helping the students not over count. In Language letter tracing apps are assisting her in recognizing the steps involved in creating letters. She is learning to follow the steps.
- Seems to be progressing nicely.
- Comfortable with the device and enjoys using it to meet her needs.

Our Grade 4 Student:

  • Difficult for him to stay engaged on one task, seems to like to flip through the apps on the device.
  • Uses the whiteboard app during French class (this seems to be consistent so far).
  • Has earned free time on the iPad - during those times he chose to use apps involved with counting (numbers are a strength for this student).
  • Seems to get distracted by the animation embedded in the apps.
  • Will refuse to do the task at hand - prefers to explore the other apps on the device.
  • He has had some behavioural issues due to his refusals.
- The device seems to be distracting him - more interested in exploring the device rather than focus on his learning. It looks like he needs more time to get over the "novelty" of it.
- Should we remove the apps that are on the device that are not there for his learning as per his IEP?

Our Grade 5 Student:

  • Interested and engaged in using the iPad for his learning.
  • Seems to be enjoying his learning - not discouraged when he makes errors.
  • Interactive apps work best with this student.
  • Loves starting his day with the use of the device (gets him interested and engaged with his school day).
  • Putting pen to paper is difficult for this student, especially in the afternoons. The iPad offers him an alternative that he is much more interested in. Example - when doing a visualization activity the student used an interactive white board app (Screen Chomp) to doodle pictures of characters in the story - allowing him to keep up with the class and the story. This most likely would not have been the case with paper and pencil.
- Seems to be progressing nicely.
- Interactive "game" type apps are effective for this student.
- Looks forward to the use of the device. iPad proves to be useful on many fronts, especially when he becomes fatigued with the use of a pencil.

Interaction with the EA's occurs on a daily basis and I welcome their thoughts and comments as we pass each other throughout the day. They are providing me with valuable information that I need to find appropriate apps for the students. Our grade 2 and grade 5 students are moving in a positive direction with their learning and the use of the device. Our grade 4 student is having difficulty and I wonder if we need to provide him with more time to explore the device itself. Allow him time to get "bored" of the possibilities, if you will. Perhaps he will show us what he wants to do with it and we can find a way to leverage it so that it can benefit him? I believe it is important to keep an open mind and to try and think outside of the box.

What do you think? I would love to interact with you to hear what your thoughts are. Please feel free to leave a comment on the blog or feel free to email me at


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