House District 6 ‘iPads4Literacy’ Project Underway
In an effort to improve student achievement and prepare students with skills ready for post-secondary education, the House District 6 “iPad4Literacy” project was initiated by Rep. Alan Dick. The Association of Alaska School Board’s Consortium for Digital Learning serves in the capacity of program design, program administration and school district liaison for the project. The target population for the project are elementary school children in classroom groupings containing 3rd grade (ages 7-12) within the boundaries of HD 6. Nine school districts, approximately 500 students and 50 teachers in 40 schools are now participating in the project. iPads were rolled out to students in the month of October. The goals of the project are to use technology to improve student achievement in the areas of reading and math literacy and fluency. The design for this one year demonstration project includes a pre-determined evaluation process, prescribed professional development provided by CDL approved vendors to participating teachers delivered in face-to-face offerings as well as distance delivery, and technical support services.All funding for associated hardware and software are paid from a legislative grant appropriation with districts responsible for all other costs. The approximate anticipated funding allocations are 75% grant to 25% district match.
The project’s instructional design consists of the implementation of iPad technology with targeted applications within established methodology demonstrating best practices from existing programs. iPads are used for voice recording for reading fluency, practicing skills in math numeracy in common math apps, and for a differentiated online reading program. Formative assessments were given to students before the rollout and will be done at mid-year and year-end to assess impacts on student achievement. Survey data from teachers and students will also be included in the project evaluation.