iPads Open New Learning Horizons at Sweetsir


Multiple special education teachers at the Sweetsir School saw the potential for expanding students’ creative learning experience through the use of tablet computers. To turn this potential into reality, they applied for a technology grant with the PEF for the procurement of iPads.


The PEF issued a $5,000 grant that enabled Sweetsir to purchase five iPads for teachers including Diane Milewski, Speech Language Pathologist; Julie Walton, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant; Tracey McCarthy Special Education Preschool Teacher; Leslie Mitchell, Special Education Teacher; and Patty Distefano, Preschool Teacher.  


The iPads have helped educators create hands on, customizable learning experiences for students. “The iPad allows my students with limited speech skills to communicate their choices effectively using speech generating communication apps,” McCarthy said.

The iPads’ camera and video features have allowed teachers and students to capture, document and share moments of learning. “The iPad lets the children create interactive books about their learning,” Distefano added.

Apps such as Little Story Creator Story, Yak It, Time Line, Write About It, Vidiolicious, and iMovie have offered students a variety ways to creatively demonstrate their learning. Teachers are constantly reviewing new apps and sharing ideas about how technology can enhance student learning.

The PEF grant has enabled us to procure technology that is making a major difference in student learning...
— Diane Milewski, Speech Language Pathologist

The PEF grant has enabled us to procure technology that is making a major difference in student learning,” Milewski said. “Students are demonstrating their understanding by creating stories, pictures and movies that have personal meaning. A variety of engaging apps have helped student access curriculum and have motivated them to explore concepts.”