Virginia using iPads to teach social studies

Fourth-grade students at Rich Acres and Sanville elementary schools in Henry County and Drew Model School in Arlington County will use iPads to learn and interact with Jamestown-related content adapted from Our Virginia: Past and Present, published by Five Ponds Press. Digital content from selected chapters of the textbook was developed by Victory Productions using newly developed software donated by Adobe.

Students at the three elementary schools also will create multimedia projects on their iPads using content from the digital library of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation on a platform developed by web software developer MashON.

Middle school students at Achievable Dream Middle School and Achievable Dream High School in Newport News and Pulaski Middle School in Pulaski County will use what Pearson says is the nation’s first fully integrated digital social studies curriculum. The content, apps, and assessments are based on Pearson’s America: History of our Nation, 1865 to Present and were developed specifically for the iPad.


Students test-drive the apps on the iPad. Photo courtesy of Pearson.
Students test-drive the apps on the iPad. (Photo courtesy of Pearson)


Ninth-grade students at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Achievable Dream and Menchville high schools in Newport News, and Pulaski County High School also will leave their history textbooks in their lockers as they log on to a similar program that Pearson has created based on its World History: Volume I textbook.

Advanced Placement (AP) biology students enrolled in Virtual Virginia, VDOE’s online learning program, also are participating in Beyond Textbooks. One group will use iPads with an interactive version of the AP biology textbook developed by Inkling, a Silicon Valley software developer, in cooperation with McGraw-Hill Education. The remaining students will rely on traditional textbooks and web-based resources.

The 230 iPads that will be used by Virginia students were purchased through a $120,000 grant from the governor’s Productivity Investment Fund. Pearson, Five Ponds Press, Victory Productions, Adobe, MashON, McGraw-Hill, and Inkling are providing their digital content, platforms, and applications at no cost to VDOE and the participating school divisions.

Meris Stansbury

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at

Comments are closed.