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Amanda Cassidy

Project Proposal
AL Suroor Kindergarten, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates is established as a single grade
level building. With twelve classrooms total, six KG1 (ages 3-5) and six KG2 (ages 4-6), there are
approximately 300 students enrolled at this time; each classroom containing 25-26 students on
average. Each classroom is facilitated by one Arabic and one English co-teacher. Maintained by
a school IT committee, the computer lab consists of twelve Dell computers; 2010 models with
Windows 7 operating systems, and one Promethean Board. Teachers must schedule use of the
computer lab each week with the school IT committee prior to use. Each classroom is equipped
with only one computer for student use; each teacher relying on their own personal computer
for most of their work. Throughout the school, available technologies for use within the
classroom is on a limited basis, shared between the two grade levels; 2 Promethean Boards
(one in the computer lab and one in the library), 2 digital cameras, 2 document
cameras/ELMOs, and 2 mobile listening centers.
According to the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, educational reform is to span all
areas of education to encompass the physical environment and resources, curriculum,
assessment, teaching methods, and health and wellbeing of its students (www.adec.ac.ae;
2010). Within the New School Model, there have been policies created to aid in the fulfillment
of the aforementioned goals. In regards to technology, the integration of Information &
Technology (ICT) instruction has been revamped.
In the New School Model (grades KG-3 in 2010-11), ICT instruction will be integrated
into teaching and learning across all subject areas. Schools will not have a separate
subject area specifically for ICT. Teachers are responsible for incorporating the
development and assessment of ICT skills into their regular instruction in other subject
areas (e.g. Arabic Language, English Language, Math, and Science). (New School
Model, 2010)
However, integration and training of technologies within the classroom to assist in the
facilitation of learning, has yet to take place across the board; especially at Al Suroor
Kindergarten. Upon completion of several surveys among the school faculty, it has been
concluded that nearly 50% of the staff does not feel that appropriate technology is available to
assist in the facilitation of learning for their students and meet the ICT requirements of the
NSM. Further in-person-interviews conclude that English Medium Teachers feel literacy support
technology is non-existent. Within an ESL format, resources to support literacy skills and cross-
curricular learning need to be prevalent within the classroom. Therefore, it is proposed that the
incorporation of inexpensive technologies, in the form of the Leap Pad Learning System, be
integrated within the classroom settings to improve early literacy skills.
Research
As outlined within the attached Literature Review, the Leap Frog Leap Pad system has
proven in early studies to support emergent literacy in multiple classrooms. According to the
study conducted by Leader and Munson (2002), of the students observed 71% were shown to
increase at least one reading level within four weeks. In addition, students fluency, retelling
ability, overall enjoyment and voluntary engagement of reading increased while the Leap Pads
were integrated within the students learning environment. While research is in its early stages,
studies located indicate positive results in multiple aspects of early literacy.
Project Description
The personalized learning tablet known as the Leap Pad Explorer Tablet, is created in
such a way that it promotes cross-curricular learning, in an entertaining format specifically
geared for ages 3-9. On Leap Pad Explorer Mobile Learning Center contains materials for
literacy, science, and math; with multiple levels of differentiated instructional support for the
student. Each tablet enables three different students profiles to be stored and tracked via the
online progress monitoring system. Initially, the mobile learning center will be integrated within
one classroom, to monitor the progress of students literacy skills within an ESL (Arabic/English)
classroom. The mobile learning center will be utilized by the teacher(s) to facilitate learning
within small groups and literacy center time.
Each bundle contains five tablets, five cases, five A/C adapters, five headphones,
twenty-five grade-level learning cartridges (10 Language Arts, 10 Mathematics, and 5 Science) ,
four pre-installed applications on each tablet, and $100 voucher for teacher to choose
additional learning downloadable apps. Funds requested from the company are in the amount
of $1325.00 for the purchase of one Leap Frog LeapPad Explorer Tablet Mobile Learning Center.
Effectiveness
As educators continue to prepare our students for jobs that are yet to be created;
affording them with skills outfitted for the 21st century, it is essential to seek new ways to
facilitate learning in an ever changing technology enhanced environment. Students must be
provided with as many opportunities for success from the very beginning, or risk falling behind.
Once identified, it is endeavored that integrating that technology within the classroom, is age
and grade-level appropriate, in done a manner that is engaging and promotes problem-solving
and creativity, in a cross-curricular format.
Objectives
Students are provided with cross-curricular technology support for early literacy skill
development.
Students gain 21
st
century skills that support the eLearning and ICT competencies of the
NSM.
Teacher(s) provide differentiated learning experiences that continue to support
creativity and problem solving, utilizing the new technology within the classroom.
Alignment
2012-2013 Learning Outcomes; KG 1 & KG 2
Literacy, Reading; Concepts About Print
o Becoming aware of words and letters
o Identifies a word
o Identifies a letter
Literacy, Writing; Ideas and Clarity
o Engages in writing-like behavior
English Literacy Codes, Phonics; Letter Discrimination
o Identifies letters in words
English Literacy Codes, Phonics; Phonemic Awareness; Sound Discrimination
o Repeats sounds
o Identifies words that have the same beginning sound
English Literacy Codes, Phonics; Rhyming
o Shows beginning awareness that words can rhyme
English Literacy Codes, Vocabulary Knowledge; Word Use and Knowledge
o Knows words of personal interest
ICT Competencies/ eLearning
o Begins to use ICT technology safely and correctly
o Understands there is a range of technology tools for specific purposes
o Use interactive software with confidence
Timeline
Integration of the mobile learning center will take place at the beginning of the 2012-
2013 academic year; beginning September 11, 2012. The center will be utilized within small
groups and literacy-center time. Small groups will rotate with more individual instruction
throughout the school week. Students will have access to the mobile learning center
throughout the academic year.
Assessment
On-going assessment will be performed on an age-appropriate level. Skills check-lists
will be used, that coordinate in conjunction with eSIS (Trimester Progress Monitoring Program).
Students will be observed during small groups and center time to properly assess acquisition
and development goals.
Sustainability
Initially, the mobile learning center will be integrated within one classroom to assess
successful integration of the concept. Future mobile units will be acquired with school funds to
be shared between classrooms on a rotating basis. Each classroom will have access to the
mobile unit at a set number of times during the week during their literacy block. Prior to
integration within a rotating system, a Professional Development meeting will be conducted to
properly train teachers on the device and possibilities within the classroom. Monthly
newsletters from Leap Frog will be subscribed to, to stay current on additional learning
cartridges and learning applications available for download.
Dissemination
Assessments and findings will be discussed with administration, upon the completion of
each trimester. Findings will subsequently be shared with colleagues upon completion of
debriefing with administrative faculty. Collaboration and peer coaching will be utilized to
discuss future options for similar technology tools to be integrated within the classroom.
Qualifications
I hold a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education; currently in the progress of obtaining a
Masters Degree in Classroom Technology. My Ohio Licensure includes PreK-3 certification, with
specialization in Reading (P-3). I have two years experience teaching in a multi-age level
preschool classroom. In addition, I also have two years experience teaching in an ESL
(Arabic/English) kindergarten classroom.