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APPy Together

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Rickey Moroney

on 25 August 2015

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Transcript of APPy Together

APPy Together
The introduction of the use of the iPad in educational settings as an innovative tool to address the individual needs of diverse student learners has inspired one graduate special education class to modify the nature of its syllabus.
In the Fall 2011 term, the course EDU 572: Strategies and Methods for Diverse Learners, incorporated iPads to research educational apps as a cutting edge technological strategy to promote teaching and learning.
The iPads were provided by Molloy College through a generous technology grant. In order for this project to be meaningful, the graduate students teamed up with fourth grade students at St. Agnes Cathedral School, to identify apps based on each youngster’s needs, interests, and preferences. The iPads for these students were funded by St. Agnes Cathedral School.
The results of this collaborative project suggest that the St. Agnes students who used the iPad apps that were individually selected for them based on their personal learning style preferences and academic strengths and weaknesses demonstrated growth in the areas of social-emotional and academic functioning. The elementary students appeared to feel more self confident in and out of the classroom setting facilitating their willingness to be open minded to new learning experiences.
The teacher candidates at Molloy College benefited from this experience by connecting theory (learning style theory) to practice (strategies and methods to remediate academic skills) through the use of innovative technology resources. These teacher candidates will have a competitive edge in the job market due to experience with the uses of an iPad in a classroom setting to teach their students in a variety of ways.
What Molloy Graduate Students said about the collaborative project:
The iPad is a great tool to utilize for students with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. It is a great way for students to work on necessary skills on their IEPs without really feeling as if they are completing a specific task. It is a fun, interactive way for students to master the skills they need to continue in their education. In addition to the academic benefits, the iPad also has great social benefits for students. Student A had many social issues. Although we received little useful data, we believe that the iPad allowed her to increase her self confidence in the classroom. However, we would need more data to make such bold conclusions on this student (Carroll, Errera & Jochade, 2011, p. 6).
Since the beginning of the research in September, Student B has shown significant academic progress. From all the data that we collected, including report cards, iPad screen shots, interviews, and Iowa testing scores, we see that Student B has improved in almost every area. More specifically, her spelling had the most drastic improvement. Her test results prior to this project states that she was below average in spelling, however, according to the Iowa test results, Student B scored literally off the charts. This data states that student B progressed from a 3rd grade level to a 6th grade level in less than three months!

Other significant improvements occurred in other potentially weak areas, such as fluency, writing, comprehension, and math skills. Though this student is still hovering along the average level according to the Iowa test results, this student is however, continuing to improve since the start of the semester, and is making positive academic gains. Student B’s report card shows nothing but outstanding work in almost all areas such as test scores, projects, class work, and more. Her report card was able to provide our group with a lot of insight to the current functioning of this student. It shows that Student B is strong in her test taking abilities and in other structured settings. However, it also shows that she did not complete most, if not any, of her homework assignments. We found this to be very interesting and began brainstorming causes for this finding. Student B could still be having difficulties with her organization, which could be factor for this lack of homework completion, or maybe this student has limited support at home and is impacting her academic motivation. Regardless of the reason, by noticing this problem, the teacher can now take steps and implement a plan to change this behavior.

Lastly, through the teacher interview, we are aware of the positive social improvement that Student B has achieved. Prior to the incorporation of the iPad, the teacher noted that this student struggles with social interaction. However, since the start of this research, the teacher stated that she has seen a major improvement with her social skills, as well as her self-confidence.

With these past three months, Student B has achieved great academic strides (Vlahos, 2011, pp. 5-6).
In the area of math, student C has also made great improvement over the past year. She has been able to reach and exceed grade level in the area of problem solving and data, and math computation by increasing upwards of one and a half grade levels in one year. In the area of concepts and estimation, student c is still lagging behind the rest of students in her grade. She has however increased significantly from the year before. This has led us to believe that whatever method is being used is helping (Moroney, 2011, p. 11).
The activity that really shined some light onto how the project was progressing was the facetime chat we had as a class with the special education teacher working with the students. The teacher was able to enlighten us to the fact that the students were all enjoying using their iPad, especially Student D.

In the middle of November we received a teacher narrative from Student D’s teacher giving us a report of his progress. This was a wonderful thing to read because it showed how much our hard work, along with his own, had paid dividends for Student D. The narrative’s best news I believe was the fact that his confidence levels have gone up along with his class participation and peer interaction (Kimball, 2011, p. 6).
The collaboration between the college and St. Agnes Cathedral School has provided participants the opportunity to engage in community service learning experiences while promoting teaching and learning.
In the spring term of 2012, this collaborative project expanded to include 4th and 5th grade students from St. Agnes Cathedral School and a new section of teacher candidates in EDU 572. The goal of this ongoing project is to facilitate meeting the individual needs of diverse learners through innovative strategies and methods. The iPad has proven to be an effective tool to unlock the challenges teachers.
The project has been organized by Molloy College Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Audra Cerruto and St. Agnes Cathedral School Technology Coordinator and Adjunct Professor Rickey Moroney with the generous help of the Dean of the Division of Education Dr. Maureen Walsh, the College’s President Dr. Drew Bogner, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Valerie Collins, Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Education, Dr. Joanne O’Brien and St. Agnes Cathedral School’s Co Principals S. Kathy Carlin, O.P. and Helen Newman. Molloy College Professor Dr. Marjorie Schiering has enthusiastically volunteered her time and expertise in the area of learning style theory to facilitate this project.
Presentation of
APPy Together:
A Virtual Partnership Addressing Academic
and Social Performance
by Dr. Audra Cerruto
& Rickey Moroney
June 1st 2012
on the campus of Montclair State University
Dr. Audra Cerruto
& Rickey Moroney
Collaborative Technology Initiative
Molly College’s Division of Education
And St. Agnes Cathedral School
APPy Together
Presentation of
APPy Together:
A Virtual Partnership Addressing Academic
and Social Performance
by Dr. Audra Cerruto
& Rickey Moroney
June 1st 2012
on the campus of Montclair State University
St .Agnes Students Reflect
on their iPad Experiences After Year Two
Full transcript