MONTREAL, MAY 25, 2012 – Continuously ensuring that English Montreal School Board students have access to the latest educational technologies at school, commencing with the 2012-2013 academic year, the Pedagogical Services Department and their Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) team will introduce the use of iPads into the curriculum.
Intended to become a key tool for both teachers and students, iPads will serve multiple learning and teaching purposes ranging from being used by an entire class, in a cooperative and collaborative learning groups or in a learning centre by individual students. iPads and their pedagogical apps will support and facilitate communication, collaboration, cooperation and creation in learning and teaching activities for all students.
Already in use by school boards throughout Canada and the United States, iPads have quickly become an effective tool which allows teachers to create and tailor learning content across multiple subject areas such as literacy, numeracy, visual arts and multimedia production to the specific learning needs and interests of their students.
“Ensuring that gifted and special needs students receive as much support as possible for their learning, iPads include specific functions which will facilitate and support learning by gifted and special needs students with cognitive, learning, developmental and or physical abilities or disabilities,” stated EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini.
Inherent to the device are text to speech and speech to text functions in both English and French for students with auditory processing or speech problems, applications specifically designed for facilitating and supporting the development of communication strategies and skills by students with autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, a feature is available which changes the settings in order to provide greater accessibility to learning resources for children with visual, auditory, sensory and or kinesthetic developmental delays / problems / disabilities / and or talents and 3-D imaging applications to support and or challenge those students with spatial and or perceptual challenges or talents.
“Other apps and functions will challenge the gifted students to analyze, synthesize and create for their learning, “notes EMSB Vice-Chair Sylvia Lo Bianco, the commissioner behind the project.
In the first phase of the iPad project, 350 youth sector teachers will receive an iPad for classroom use. These teachers will receive professional development on how to integrate it into the curriculum and with the support of Pedagogical Services, Student Services and Information Technology Services, will develop a pedagogical project to integrate the iPad into the curriculum.