Using the iPad for Deeper Learning

Deeper learning is the process of learning for transfer.  Student competencies that allow for deep learning include cognitive reasoning and problem solving, intrapersonal competencies which involve self-management, and interpersonal competencies which refer to working and communicating with others. When these competencies are in place, students are better able to experience deeper learning.

Math is a natural subject to incorporate these competencies. Recently, we were working on composing and decomposing numbers to 10. Initially, students worked independently to compose numbers using M&M’s and a work mat.

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By working independently, students engaged their cognitive and intrapersonal skills. Next, students were able to work together on their iPad devices to compose numbers in a variety of ways.  Students were able to choose the app to demonstrate learning.

Here are a couple of examples:

unit blocksThe above example is from the Number Pieces app.








These examples are from the Felt Board app. Do you see the difference from left to right? The pair of students on the left composed 10 in ways that were more traditional. The pair of students on the right were both advanced in their thinking and were able to  demonstrate far beyond the expected standard. All of these examples meet the standard, yet, given the opportunity to have choice in how they demonstrate learning, students often perform higher than our expectations.

Integrating technology into your teaching practice can transform learner outcomes. Through voice and choice, students develop “creating and doing dispositions”. Through inquiry, problem solving, and collaboration both with peers and teachers, students are better able to lead their learning more effectively and transfer their knowledge to their world beyond the classroom.

In what ways are you creating deep learning opportunities in your classroom?

8 thoughts on “Using the iPad for Deeper Learning

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  6. Hi Kristi.

    The kindergarten class where my kid attend, is planning to fully switch from books and notebooks to ipads.

    Might I ask you:
    How many hours per day would you say kindergarten clasess with Ipad should be?
    Do you think that Ipads can 100% substitute the use of books and getting rid of books and paper notes is somethiing to pursue?

    • Fernando, I give my students the choice of how they want to demonstrate learning, while most will choose to use the iPad, they are on and off of it throughout the day. They do not sit on it for long periods of time, and when they do use it, it is to complete an assignment. My class is a traditional kindergarten classroom with centers, games, and hands-on activities. The iPad is just a tool to demonstrate learning. The iPad has the ability to replace paper and books. Saving paper is always a good thing…however, my students have the choice to read actual books in the classroom or read books on the iPad. We don’t do worksheets because I don’t feel they give children to accurately demonstrate what they know. Creating content on the iPad gives students the opportunity to engage in deeper learning that worksheets just d0n’t provide.

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