Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Utilising iPads to support diverse learning needs

As I travel around our schools I am most struck by the use of iPads to support and enhance the independent learning of many of our students who have additional learning needs.  I also work closely with our team of educators who support our Vision Impaired students.  They are always pushing the boundaries of technology to ensure that vision impaired students can access and fully interact with the curriculum and their class/teachers.

I think most people are now aware of the great built in accessbility features of Zoom, VoiceOver, and Black on White Text, Speak Auto-text which came with the first iPad operating system version.
However iOS5 also added the following great accessibility tools that our students are utilising:
Recently too, Gita Mathias -  Coordinator for the Vision Team, and myself gave a presentation at the recent IEU conference 'We Connect' about the use of iPads for Special Needs students in our diocese. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

iTunesU - a learning platform for schools

iTunesU offers schools, especially secondary schools, a platform for delivering and creating course content with the iTunesU App.  Schools looking at a 1 to 1 iPad program should explore the content available.
  • Students can search for and subscribe for free (mostly) to courses from a range of educational institutions across the world.
  • Each course can provide access to a range of media: videos, podcasts, iBooks etc.
  • Courses are structured and students can keep track as they complete sections of the course.
  • Students can make and keep notes within their course and notes made in course associated iBooks are available within the course.
A good introduction to the iTunesU App can be viewed here:
From ( 
iPad in Education - How to use iTunes U, part 1.

The really useful part for schools is that there is the potential to create course content via the iTunesU Course Manager that can be made available in iTunesU.  This opens up a lot of possibilities for schools as they can create content and courses and deliver it seamlessly to students via the iTunesU app.
Schools should note however, that content must be created and delivered under an educational institution that has an approved iTunesU account. 
Our system is currently investigating a system iTunes U account and individual schools currently do not have authority to sign up for a school account.

iTunesU as a learning platform