AN IPAD EDUCATIONAL
Table of Contents
“The world has changed....
and the way we educate our
children should too.”
(Ministry of Education, 2011a, p. 1)
2. TPACK and 21st Century Literacies
3. Experiences from an Educational Technology Teacher
4. Shape Your Thinking
5. Implementing iPads in Your School
RESEARCH THAT FRAMES
Research shows that integrating
digital technology into teacher
• positively impact student
• improve conﬁdence
• improve attitudes toward
• decrease absenteeism
The purpose of this resource is to support the integration of iPads into classroom literacy
teaching and learning. In Sections 1, 2 and 3 in this book, I will introduce the Technological
Pedagogical Content and Knowledge framework, the deﬁnition of 21st century literacies, and
my personal experiences as an educational technology teacher using iPads in an elementary
school setting. In Section 4, I provide speciﬁc, key questions for administrators, schools and
teachers to help shape the thinking and direction regarding the use of iPads in education. The
questions provided in this section are linked to resources that are collected from International,
National, and Provincial levels to provide further support for your investigation. In Section 5, I
identify the learning stages of implementing iPads in a school, and I provide a few teachercreated blogs to refer to for further experience. Finally, Section 6 contains ideas for the
educator. It is here that I talk about digital literacies, how to promote cyber-safety with your
students, a list of literacy apps that I have found to be eﬀective, tools for working online, and
some speciﬁc ways to develop your professional learning network.
• improve behavior
Throughout this resource, you will ﬁnd Guiding Questions in each section that I have
used to help further my thinking in each area. These Guiding Questions are meant to help
identify and deﬁne current assumptions, frame investigations and develop continued inquiry.
Good questions often create new spaces for discovery and then lead to better questions.
Hopefully this resource will present questions that continue to enhance your journey toward
your own discoveries and answers regarding the use of iPads in education.
TPACK and 21st Century Literacies
In this section, you will ﬁnd...
What is Technological Pedagogical
Content Knowledge (TPACK) and how
does this framework impact my
An introduction to the theoretical framework called Technological
Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) that supports the
integration of digital technology into literacy and other content
What is the concept of 21st Century
The position statement from the NCTE on 21st century literacies
that was adopted by the NCTE Executive Committee, February 15,
A deﬁnition of ‘Digital Literacy’
Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge
The framework of the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) demonstrates
the balance required by teachers to provide eﬀective learning practices that are enhanced by
the use of technology.
Hutchinson (2012) shows that
when instruction is designed
with the components of the
TPACK framework in mind,
literacy goals are met with
opportunities to learn the
new literacies needed for the
Good but dated
Exciting but disconnected
Modern but limited
Mishra, P., & Koehler, M.J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A new framework
for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record. 108(6), 1017-1054.
21st Century Literacies
“If we teach today as we did yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.”
Literacy by deﬁnition is the ability to read, write, and eﬀectively communicate with others. Forms of
communication, through the inﬂuence of technology, are expanding the landscape for what it means to read and
write. 21st century literacies is a term that attempts to identify the literacy skills required to be ‘literate’ in modern
In order to integrate 21st century literacies into eﬀective classroom practice, ‘new’ literacies should be used to
support and strengthen ‘old’ literacies. ‘New’ literacies are skills developed by engaging with new technologies in
a digital context. The ‘old’ literacy skills include reading, writing, listening, and speaking - all which remain at the
core of literacy education. There is an interdependency between the two when the integration of technology can
enhance eﬀective learning in the class.
The following skills are associated with 21st century literacies:
Develop proﬁciency with the tools of technology
Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments
(Position Statement from the NTCE, 2009)
Multimedia Learning Theory
The following are principles to follow with analyzing and evaluating multi-media texts:
Multiple Representation Principle: It is better to present an explanation in words and pictures than
solely in words.
Contiguity Principle: When giving a multimedia explanation, present corresponding words and
pictures contiguously rather than separately.
Split-Attention Principle: When giving a multimedia explanation, present words as auditory narration
rather than as visual on-screen text.
Individual Diﬀerences Principle: The foregoing principles are more important for low- knowledge than
high-knowledge learners, and for high-spatial rather than low-spatial learners.
Coherence Principle: When giving a multimedia explanation, use few rather than many extraneous
words and pictures.
(Mayer & Marino,1998)
Teaching 21st century literacies may include literacies and associated skills to be digitally literate, socially
literate, media literate, and critically literate. More speciﬁcally, this resource focusses on the education of digital
literacy through the use of technology in the classroom. To be clear, the Ministry of Education in British Columbia
deﬁnes digital literacy to be...
“the interest, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital technology and communication
tools to access, manage, integrate, analyze and evaluate information, construct new knowledge, create and
communicate with others in order to participate eﬀectively in society”.
Basic elements of this deﬁnition include:
(British Columbia Ministry of Education- CEET deﬁnition)
Experiences from an Educational Technology Teacher
As I think about implementing iPads
into my teaching practice, how does
the context of my school impact this
How can other professionals’
experiences contribute to my own
personal implementation of iPads in
my class or school?
In this section you will ﬁnd...
Two of my speciﬁc ‘learning’ experiences as a
educational technology teacher who has
implemented iPads into two elementary schools
Five teaching and learning tips for using iPads in
an elementary school
Five logistical recommendations for iPad
In regards to the stories, tips, and recommendations please note that this is my experience in a speciﬁc
school context and does not universally apply. Please frame the following within a school learning environment
that has speciﬁc needs and inﬂuences.
It was day one of the iPads in the hands of the students. I noticed an iPad was missing during during recess. I
looked around everywhere, searching the school, staﬀ room, and even made an announcement on the PA.
Finally, the iPad was found after school wedged under a separating door between classrooms. A student had
tucked it in under a shirt when leaving the computer lab.
Lesson learned: Assign numbers to iPads, check the cart before leaving the room, and always be prepared for
In a rush at the end of the day, a student helped put the iPad back into the cart. Unfortunately, the slots are just a
little big to ﬁt the iPads standing up and not landscape. A student put one iPad in wrong and ended up breaking
the glass on the iPad.
Lesson learned: Have a teacher hand out and put away the iPads into the cart.
Five Teaching and Learning Tips for using iPads in
an Elementary School
1. Give each teacher an iPad
Allow a few months for teachers to explore the iPad before using it in the classroom. Each iPad should
have separate iTunes accounts to allow for teacher exploration and customization.
2. ‘Play Time’
Teachers can explore with students and provide “play time” with the iPad together in the classroom to
establish routines and establish a new learning space together.
3. Use a projector
A great way to model the use for students apps, behavior, and tips before handing the iPads out to
students is using a LCD projector. Also, check out this link to see how an iPad can be used as a
4. Student experts
Allow space for students to show you capabilities and possibilities for using the iPad in the classroom.
5. Assign iPads numbers and students
Assign students a number on the iPad to sign out and return. Each student can then leave unﬁnished
work on the iPad if it is shared between classes as well.
Five Logistical Recommendations for iPad
1. Choose a sponsor teacher
One staﬀ member should manage the Apple Laptop, download requested apps from teachers and sync all
2. Deﬁne the physical space
Decide where the cart will live and what the physical learning space will look like.
3. Make a placemat
For each iPad a protective mat can prevent sliding, slipping, or scratching of the iPad. Fleece, fabric, or
sand mat can work well for students to use the iPad at their desks. Otherwise rest the iPad on the carpet.
4. Consider additional purchases
On top of the purchase of the Bretford Cart, up to 30 iPads, a mac laptop, AppleCare, AppleTV, a projector
or projector adaptor should all be considered when purchasing for a school.
5. Establish school wide routines and policies
Behavior, schedule, and management for teachers and students needs to be communicate. Options such as
using the iPad as an instructional tool, or small groups of iPads for learning.
Shape Your Thinking
What are my values and beliefs
regarding technology in education?
How can iPads address the skill
development needed for 21st
In this section, you will ﬁnd...
Questions for the administration, school, and
staﬀ as an important pre-planning step towards
integrating technology and iPads in education
Resources and links to use for further
investigation based in British Columbia and
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
LINKS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
What is the Provincial vision for 21st Century teaching and learning?
• Premier’s Technology Council- A vision for 21st Century
What is the vision for Information, Communication, Technology (ICT)
integration and skill development into teaching in the 21st Century
• Partnership for 21st Century Skills
What does the BC Ministry of Education say about learning
empowered by technology?
• enGauge 21st century skills: Literacy in the Digital age (2003)
What is digital literacy and how does digital literacy ﬁt into
• International Society for Technology (2012)
• Where does ICT in your school sit in the continuum of integration into
teaching and learning?
• British Columbia Education Plan- Actions- Learning Empowered
by Technology (2012)
• British Columbia Ministry of Education Digital Literacy
What steps are needed in the pre-planning of integrating iPad in
education regarding digital literacies?
• ICT Capabilities in Teaching Resource from Australia
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
LINKS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
What are the standards for students, teaching, and administrators
from the International for Technology in Education?
• International Society for Technology in Education
What is a 21st century classroom?
• Ontario Public School Boards Association: Technology in the
21st Century Classroom
• What learning and design principals should be considered when
creating or evaluating multimedia text?
• Cognitive theory of Multimedia Theory: Implications for Design
• British Columbia Education Plan Video
How is the school responding to the need for education to change
by the Ministry of Education?
• How is the school using ICTs in education to empower learning? Is
the technology being utilized to its fullest potential?
How is your school providing personalized teaching and learning?
Should the use of technology look diﬀerently in each school and
• How is your school providing opportunity in developing 21st century
literacies addressed as Digital Literacies at the curriculum level?
• How is the school educating students to be “digitally literate”?
• British Columbia Education Plan- Actions- Learning Empowered
• Ministry of Education: Personalized Learning in BC
• British Columbia Ministry of Education Digital Literacy Standards
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
LINKS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
• What is the standards for teachers regarding the use and knowledge
in technology in education from the International Society for
Technology in Education?
• Standards for teacher skills and knowledge in technology
• What professional development opportunities are available to me
within my building, district and province regarding technology?
• Professional Development from NETS (free)
• What are 21st Century literacy skills and how do I organize them into
current teaching curriculum in my class?
• National US organization for 21s Century Skills in Education
• Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow-Today Deﬁnition of 21st Century
Skills and Outcomes
• How am I providing personalized learning for my students?
• Personalized Learning Interactive Document
• How am I a researching teacher in regards to using digital technology
• Position statement of New Literacies and Technology of the 21st
with my class?
century from the International Reading Association (2009)
• What does current research say from the worlds leading organization
http://www.reading.org/Libraries/position-statements-andof Literacy Professionals?
• What does research say about the impact of digital technologies
have on formal learning in classrooms?
• The Impact of Digital Technology: A review of the impact of
digital technologies on formal education
Implementing iPads in your School
What stage of implementation is
my school at regarding the use of
iPads for learning?
How will the iPad be implemented
in my school?
In this section, you will ﬁnd...
A definition and articulation of stages
regarding the implementation of iPads for
Resources and blogs from colleagues
regarding other implementation experiences
Use this section to:
identify which stage your school is in and seek the appropriate stage for eﬀective professional development
reﬂect on the development of student and teacher culture surrounding the use of iPads with 21st century
Stages of Implementation
1. Pre-planning - shaping your thinking, developing purpose, pedagogy and management surrounding the use
of iPads. Begin the conversation regarding using technology in the school with staﬀ and school community
2. Peer-trainers- co-teaching, student experts, and development of Professional Learning Network (PLN)
surrounding goals for professional development. Teachers have time with iPads before using them in
education and to share explorations with colleagues
3. Play/Informal Learning - time for teachers and students to explore new ways to use iPads in the classroom.
Development of student and staﬀ familiarity, school logistics, and learning culture will prepare the educational
setting needed to further learn
4. Planned/Formal Learning- adapted teaching, integrated formal teaching program, teacher decisions on
classroom framework to reﬂect integration of iPad. Student learning is geared and transitions between spaces
of learning is natural
5. Personalized and diﬀerentiated learning- learning styles mapped, emotional intelligence considered,
student discovery, self-regulation, inquiry base learning
(Nadler, Vincent, Maccoll, Iemma, & Duncan, 2011, p. 6)
Additional resources, educators, and blogs regarding iPads Implementation
Considerations Before Implementing iPads and iPods
Preparing Your School for an iPad Implementation
21 steps to 1-to-1 Success
iPad Implementation - scoop.it
A Quick Guide to Managing a full classroom of iPads
10 Steps to a Sucessful School iPad Program
Ideas for the Educator
In this section, you will ﬁnd:
How do I safely navigate the
Internet space with my students?
What are some practical, ageappropriate apps that I can use to
support 21st century literacy
learning for my students?
How can online interactions
develop 21st century literacies
What are some ways to develop my
own Professional Learning
Tips on creating cybersafe classrooms and
developing digital citizenship within your school
Tried, tested and true literacy Apps for iPads
Resources for teaching and learning online
Ways to develop a professional learning network
Teaching students appropriate ‘cybersafety’ is an important aspect of implementing any technology
program that uses the Internet in a school. As you think about exploring the Internet with your students, you
will want to think about what it means to have a cybersafe classroom, and how you can develop digital
citizenship in your class and school.
Students, teachers and schools can practice cybersafety by:
• protecting their own privacy
and personal information
• selecting appropriate spaces
to work in and contribute to
• protecting the privacy of others
(this can be sharing personal
information or images)
providing safe, protected
monitoring and maintaining
modeling appropriate behavior
facilitating space in school for
• establishing school wide
standards of online behavior
• respecting others’ property
• providing appropriate places
for exploration online
The useful online resource called ‘Digital Passport’ oﬀers interactive web-based games and videos engage
grade 3-5 students on critical skills related to digital safety, respect and community. The website also provides
collaborative classroom activities that reinforce online lessons. The website can manage and keep records on
multiple students and classes and is free of charge. Check out digitalpassport.org for how you can begin to teach
your students about online safety at your school.
Literacy Apps for iPads
There are over 250,000 educational apps in the iTunes store. This is a targeted
collection of apps that have been useful in developing skills associated with digital
literacy as well as 21st century literacies.
I have listed a sampling of apps that I have used in my program. Each app is
identiﬁed with an image, a title that is linked to the iTunes store, a brief description of
how the app works. I have also added a brief video to show a brief tutorial of the app.
Some of these apps are free and some cost a small price. I have categorized the apps
into three levels for elementary school: kindergarten/grade 1, grade 2/3, and grade
4/5. However, some overlap between levels may be appropriate in some situations.
My Recommended Kindergarten/Grade 1 Literacy Apps
Link to iTunes App Store
Phonics Word Families
Learning A-Z Level AA
Word phonics spelling, beginning sound, word
family phonics, short vowel sound, and images
support young readers with a lot of animations
and interactions for each word. This developer
offers many different apps for young readers.
Consider this app to provide books leveled
according to the Reading A-Z levels books. This
level AA contains ten books at this level and
one free sample book for the next level.
Fun and engaging spelling app that contained
internal motivators to learn letter sounds, and
unscramble words to earn parts of a rocket that
you can ﬂy at the end.
Achieve the Power to Read with this collection
of four SUPER WHY interactive literacy games.
Pick out your actors and backdrops, drag them
on to the stage, and tap record. Your
movements and audio will be recorded in real
time for playback later as a digital story.
Grade 2/3 Literacy Apps
Link to iTunes App Store
A simple doodling board, markers, and oneclick sharing tools make spreading your ideas
and knowledge. Record, sketch and share.
Make comics with a wide selection of: image
ﬁlters, comic fonts, customizable captions, a
library of classic comic graphics and dozens of
multi-panel page layouts.
This storytelling and creative learning tool
enables kids to draw, animate, and share their
own cartoons with friends and family around
the world through simple and fun imaginative
A book creation platform that allows kids to
create and share their own stories with
hundreds of great drawing and writing tools.
Download your books instantly to your iBooks
One of many children book library apps. check
out www.meegenius.com for more information
Grade 4/5 Literacy Apps
Links to iTunes App Store
A recordable whiteboard. Creating a great video
tutorial is as simple as touching, tapping and
talking. Great for digital stories, you can
photograph any student work, type, draw, and
record over each slide. Also check out
A great brainstorming app, that simple interface
allows for quick capturing of ideas, your own
photos or photos from the internet to create a
The simple way to create your own beautiful
ebooks on the iPad. Ideal for student picture
books, photo books, art books, cook books,
manuals, or textbooks for teachers and students.
Create and share dynamic conversations around
documents, snapshots, diagrams and videos -basically anything there is to talk about. You can
talk, type, and draw right on the screen. A log in
An easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate,
animate, and narrate explanations and
presentations. You can create unique and
dynamic presentations with this app.
Resources for Teaching and Learning Online
ALong with thousands of
available educational apps,
iPads can be used to incorporate
21st century literacy skills when
connected to the internet. IPads
can be used to enhance online
interactions and collaborations
for our students.,
One advantage of wireless
internet existing in schools is
that learning on iPads can take
place in any physical space
available around the school,
such as a classroom, student
desk, library, hallway, or
• classpress.com - a closed student blog system that oﬀers a monitored
online space for students to post and share ideas, and begin to interact
online in appropriate ways
• wikispaces.com - a website that can easily be created and edited by
teachers and students. Students can create pages for group
assignments, create portfolios that include multimedia digital texts, or
class activities can be explored on the space (among many other
• prezi.com allows multiple student access to one multilayered document
• hello.corkboard.me allows for group collaboration for brainstorming a
• iclicker.com oﬀers a mobile system for student responses and votes
where results can be collaborated on the projector in various
representations for assessment for learning or class polls
Developing a Professional Learning Network (PLN)
“Personal learning networks are a great
way for educators to get connected
with learning opportunities, access
professional development resources,
and to build camaraderie with other
education professionals. Although PLNs
have been around for years, in recent
years social media has made it possible
for these networks to grow
(Teacher- Keith Rispin, 2012)
Developing a Professional/Personal Learning Network is
something that can be extremely valuable to your own learning and
professional development. Through the use of social media and the
internet, it is seamless to connect with fellow educators throughout
your province, country and across the world on topics that are current
and relevant to your own practice. I have outlined three diﬀerent
aspects of social media that I have used to develop my own PLN:
Twitter, Blogs and Catalogues.
I have used Twitter to meet colleagues in similar positions across
the world, as well as ﬁnd connections to many teacher-created blogs
that have been impactful to my learning. I have been able to collect and
share resources regarding apps, and their use in the classroom. I have
included some of the resources and blogs that I found useful in my
Twitter™ as a Professional Resource
An eﬀective way to collaborate with or ﬁnd others who share an
interest in using iPads within education is Twitter. Conversations
surrounding a topic are found by searching ‘Hashtags’. The following is a
short list of hashtags and colleagues to follow on the topic of iPads in
education in British Columbia. A larger categorized list can be found in
Edudemics article A-Z Dictionary of Educational Twitter Hashtags
Twitter Feed- tap the logo below to
see the current conversation on the
This conversation surrounds the topic of iPads
Additional App Catalogues and Blogs
The following app catalogues and app blogs have been dominantly collected through Twitter. I have
found these catalogues and blogs to be useful, as they provide various rating scales, reviews, and
categorizations of particular apps.
• ERAC Commons Mobile Apps Collection-BC
Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium
• tcea.org/ipad- Texas Computer Education Society
• iPad 4 Learning- Victoria, Australia
• Teaching Appz.co.uk
• iPadAcademy.com Collections
• HCSmobile.net - iPads in the primary Classroom
• Appmyworld.com- Educational App Aggregate
• Kathy Schrocks Blog- Bloomin’ Apps
• Appitic- A directory of apps for education by Apple
About the Author
David Shortreed is an elementary school teacher in the Greater Victoria School District No. 61.
David teaches an Educational Technology program at two elementary schools in his school district, and
implement iPads in both. David has a passion for eﬀective integration of technology in today’s
classrooms for literacy learning.
To see what Mr. Shortreed is up to, you can:
Follow him on Twitter: @mr_shortreed
Read his Blog: http://
Explore his K-5 student website: