Grant Wood AEA Launches iPad Project

Grant Wood AEA launched the iPad project during the fall of 2011 for agency staff providing instructional services to students. The iPads are being used as a tool to further impact student achievement.

Girl with ipad

iPads are used as a tool to increase student engagement and motivation.

Stacy Behmer, Grant Wood AEA coordinator of digital learning technology, explained that the iPads are increasing student engagement and motivation. “The iPads offer the ability to differentiate instruction as well as to address different learning styles,” Behmer explained. “The hands-on nature of the device helps to meet the diverse needs of a range of students. The iPads provide the flexibility for both modifications and extensions for learning.”

Agency staff agree. “Over the last three months I have been using my iPad more and more,” said Margaret Pickett, speech-language pathologist. “With students, I use the iPad for traditional reward time, but mostly for instructional purposes. Our recent Tier 1 purchase order provided me with Articpix, an app with picture cue cards for all phonemes in the English language in all placements of words (initial, medial and final). Students are prompted to say the word alone or in a sentence and are then able to
determine successful or unsuccessful productions.”

“I do parts of my evaluation on the iPad and then have used it as an incentive when testing,” said Hillary Prall, school psychologist. “Having an iPad when you complete an evaluation allows staff to try out some accommodations with students so the recommendations that come from the evaluation are specific to the student.”

“For students learning at the preschool level, I use a variety of apps for color, shapes or picture matching,” said Patty Soldner, occupational therapist. “It is interesting at this level the eye-hand coordination and use of pressure variances of the students as they learn a new motor plan when using the iPad.”

Young child with ipad

"For students learning at the preschool level, I use a variety of apps for color, shapes or picture matching," said Patty Soldner, Grant Wood AEA occupational therapist.

Patti Sorsby, speech-language pathologist, explained she uses the iPad with students to further, “independence on academic/ social skills and increased interest in learning perceived hard skills. The iPad helps improve social interaction skills through video modeling.”

Wendi Kaiser, autism consultant, explained she is currently beginning to use the iPad with students. “A lot of using it is for motivation, keeping students involved, “ she explained. “Some are using the apps as a screening tool, so you don’t have to bring in paper anymore.”

“The iPad can be used for video modeling,” explained Taresa Fetzer, autism consultant. “It can be used with social skills lessons and having the students videotape and watch themselves.”

“At the elementary level, the iPad can be used as a communication device,” said Kelly Trier, autism consultant. “Teaching using the iPad is amazing. For a student who doesn’t do paper/pencil activities, downloading apps can be an alternative.”

For more information about the Grant Wood AEA iPad Project, contact Stacy Behmer at

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