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Using the iPad to support differentiated learning


The Kura Iwa Cluster is made up of nine Christchurch schools in their third year of an ICTPD contract; Bamford, Bromley, Christchurch East, Linwood Intermediate, Ouruhia, St Albans Catholic, St Anne’s, St Mary’s and Tai Tapu Schools.

This year all schools across the cluster have purchased and are in the process of implementing mobile technologies (ie, iPads, iPod Touches, Android Tablets, Smartphones).  After an initial period of exploration, many teachers are now looking for ways in which to utilise their devices to improve student outcomes.  This has formed the focus for their 2012 Teaching As Inquiry process.

Research and References

Advice around apps that support learning has been gathered from a range of sources including:

 During 2011 and 2012 thirty four teachers, lead teachers, facilitators and principals attended an eTime tour of North Island Schools.  Two of the schools visited were Selwyn Ridge (Tauranga) and Rototuna School (Hamilton).  These schools are both implementing iPads into their classrooms and during the visits, tour participants were able to see iPads being used purposefully and meaningfully to support student learning.  They were also able to discuss iPad implementation with lead teachers who offered a wealth of experience and good advice.

Another source of information that was used to develop teacher inquiries was a resource developed by the Victoria Department of Early Childhood and Development, “iPads for Learning – Getting Started”.  It provided some valuable advice on practical learning and teaching ideas to support the introduction of iPads in schools.  It highlights some key questions aimed at challenging teachers thinking about curriculum planning and implementation:

  • How can I integrate iPads to support powerful learning in my classroom?
  • How can using an iPad change the way I teach?
  • How can I ensure that the way I teache with ICT promotes deep learing?
  • How can I increase my skills when using the device and applications?
  • How can I ensure ICT is integral to my teaching and learning program?

 Teaching As Inquiry

Teachers across the cluster have developed their own inquiries that investigate how the iPads can be used in a manner that aligns with best practice.  Each inquiry includes:

  • Goals for Inquiry – aligning with Effective Pedagogy (NZC)
  • Strategies for implementation
  • Evidence of improved student outcomes
  • Reflection – What worked well? What challenges were faced?
  • Next Steps

 Spotlight – Teri Aylward from Ouruhia Model School

With Key Lessons

  Teri Aylward - Teaching As Inquiry 2012


Next Steps for the Cluster

  • During Term 2:
    • teachers will be sharing their inquiries with their colleagues within their own schools
    • lead teachers will meet for a full day session on the 21st June. During this session they will be sharing initiatives (inquiries) that are being developed across the cluster. A resource will be developed that collates the initiatives so that lead teachers can share back to each of their schools.  The group will also identify some key lessons learned throughout the initiatives.  These lessons will be shared on the VLN.
    • Seven members of the cluster (principals, lead teachers and facilitators) will be attending an eTime tour of Sydney Schools.  During their tour they will be spending time with the team from Apple Education at the Executive Briefing Centre, learning more about iPad implementation in Australian schools and recommendations around apps for learning and productivity.  Also during the tour, participants will be visiting schools who are utilising iPads, including a school that is currently involved in a one-to-one iPad trial for Year 6 students.
    • Teachers across the cluster will be attending eTime workshops focussing on the use of iPad Apps in both Junior and Senior classes that encourage creative and critical thinking.









  • Allanah King

    Gosh I am humbled that you would use my edublog as part of your reference materials for your inquiry.

    Thank you


    It's fabulous that it is of use.