• iPads In SPPS


    Starting during the 2014-2015 school year, Saint Paul Public Schools will begin an exciting opportunity to push student learning like never before.  Students and staff will begin to experience a 1:1 personalized learning environment with iPads.  This refocusing of district priorities and resources will help serve students like never before in providing dynamic and equitable educational experiences across the district.

    While a 1:1 technology learning environment (where there is one device per student) will be new in Saint Paul, iPads are familiar tools in many of our schools.

    • Second grade Science students at Galtier built models of ant colonies and recorded themselves explaining insect life using Educreations app; fourth graders made stop motion animations to explain the water cycle.
    • A  fifth grade special needs student at Frost Lake used his iPad to listen to recorded versions of grade level text while he read along; following this and other iPad-enhanced lessons, his reading comprehension advanced 6 levels (from M to S).
    • Students at Farnsworth Aerospace 5-8 used the Educreations app to make videos that showcased their learning of Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies standards.  These videos were then shared with peers as a way to help each other move toward proficiency.

    All over the world, primary and secondary classrooms and teachers provide countless examples of the types of creative and innovative teaching that can happen when teachers are given the right tools and are supported to use them to drive sound instruction and curriculum. With iPads in their hands, students have greater access to information, are able to collaborate on video creation, and are able to more fully explain their thought processes to their teachers which leads to more efficient assessments of student's grasp on the concepts taught in class.

    More information:

  • iPads In Education

    Why iPads?

    Saint Paul Public Schools has commited to personalized learning through technology.  This means that all students in the district will be given more student voice and choice, and that teachers have better ability to tailor instruction and learning supports for the students in their class in a technology rich environment.  To that end, the iPad allows for enhanced learning experiences across grade levels and curricular areas for all students.  


    A vast number of educators and school districts have seen first hand the implications for student engagment and learning when coupled with a robust technology and pedagogy shift that utilizes the iPad as it's main technology tool.  Watch the video to see how some schools around the country are leveraging the iPad for increased mobility, innovation, and critical thinking.

    Benefits of 1:1

    When every student has a device in their hands, the technology moves to the background and the learning takes center stage.  Teachers are able to customize and tailor their instruction for all students providing an equitable learning experience across classrooms and buildings.



     A one-to-one device program means:

    • Every student in the district has access to the device during the school day and carries it with them from class to class.
    • Students are able to take the device home after school hours to extend the learning experience.
    • Because each student is the only user of a device, it can be personalized to fit individual learning needs.

    Putting devices in the hands of every student in Saint Paul Public Schools prepares the children of our community to be career and college ready as well as life-long learners.  Benefits include:

    • Creates new personalized learning environments through individual devices assigned to students.
    • Empowers students to find their voice and share it.
    • Fosters collaboration among students.
    • Encourages critical thinking skills.
    • Provides greater online security, as devices can be set for individual use only.
    • Increases opportunities to teach digital citizenship and online stewardship.
    • Allows all students to have 24/7 access to digital content.
    • Facilitates increased communication with teachers.

    Although any new direction presents certain challenges, Saint Paul is forward thinking and well equipped to handle a 1:1 environment.

  • Classroom Integration


    SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition.  Developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, it is a way to describe levels for the impact technology has on teaching and learning.  At the basic level, technology enhances instruction.  Technology can also completely transform learning experiences, mirroring the same powerful changes underway in all sorts of industry, entertainment, and consumer settings.

    Saint Paul Public Schools aims to leverage the power of technology to personalize learning.  There is a wide range of possibilties for using iPads as tools to support this process, from simply providing easy access to reading materials to completely transforming lessons through the use of powerful applications. SAMR provides a way to engage in meaningful discussions about these different levels of technology integration. 

    • As iPads are first explored in a Saint Paul school, many activities will be at the substitution level, where the devices replace activities that currently use pencil and paper. 
    • As experience deepens, access to iPads for all students will allow teachers to completely transform teaching and learning experiences, redefining tasks in ways that would not have been possible without access to technology.





    Technology allows you to do what was previously not possible.

    Students use an iPad to take photographs of squares and rectangles that they find within the architecture of the school.  They launch the Explain Everything app to record themselves teaching others how to calculate the area of those shapes, using the pictures previously taken.  This is shared with the teacher and all videos are reviewed to create a bank of examples for future instruction, accessible to all students.


    Technology allows you to significantly redesign the task.

    Students read a novel of their choice and work together to create a movie trailers on their iPads. They are challenged to write an “alternative” version of the novel that expands on both setting and character . The trailers contain music, video clips and student voice-overs and are shown in a class film festival.


    Technology is a direct substitute, but there is functional improvement over what you did without the technology.

    Students take an earth science quiz using a Google Form on their iPad,. The software helps the teacher check and analyze results efficiently and provide faster feedback.


    Technology is used as a direct substitute for what you might do already, with no functional change.

    Students use a web browser on their iPads to read about U.S. History facts.


    Stay tuned for more to come by way of professional development around SAMR.  


    This wheel focuses on identifying the learning tasks first through Bloom's Taxonomy and then matching those learning tasks to apps along the SAMR guidelines. Note that it's not just the apps you use, but how you use the apps. (Click the wheel to see a larger and easier to read version.)