Using iPads to create multiple information channels

CLE - Leonardo Education Center
Country of Implementation
First published

The project developed interactive textbooks on vocational subjects designed to include students with learning disabilities, and that can be used on iPad. The subject matter is presented in multiple ways and offers a variety of learning styles. The project also offers customized tools to help students with dyslexia.

Solution details


“A vocational school, a digital publisher, and a team of psychologists working together to provide a truly inclusive learning experience.” Mr. Ugo Falace, Centro Leonardo

Problems Targeted

Vocational schools face difficulty in accessing good quality and up-to-date textbooks for specific subjects. In addition and on average, they have a very high rate of students with learning disabilities, and many of these students are at a very high risk of dropping out. For example, one of the two schools assessed in this project recorded over 30% of students with certified special educational needs. It is extremely important for vocational subjects to be in line with the latest technologies and production processes. Traditional textbooks for vocational subjects are not updated, as the publishers find that to do so is not profitable given the relatively smaller market for these materials compared to such primary subjects as math, literature, history, etc.

Solution, Innovation and Impact

The interactive textbooks were designed in collaboration with 45 teachers and two vocational schools with 1,110 students. Subsequently, a team of psychologists, designers, developers, and editorial staff assisted the teachers to create high-standard contents. The project worked on 82 iBook textbooks between the period of November 2014 and July 2015. The main feature of these textbooks is the multiple ways that the contents are presented so that students with different learning styles can benefit. The close cooperation with teachers led to more focused teaching materials, whereby unnecessary content could be avoided. Thanks to research in neuroscience, to advanced technology, and to experiences in learning psychology, it was possible to create a venue in which proper “inclusive teaching” can occur.

Funding, Outlook and Transferability

The interactive texbooks will be adopted by more Italian vocational schools (with Ipad), and many other mainstream schools have shown an interest in duplicating the project on varoius subjects. In addition, schools from other countries also have plans to transfer the concept, and the Italian government has begun to be involved in the project. To evaluate the interactive texbooks, research will be conducted on their impact on drop-out rates and learning outcomes.


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