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Edtech Advocacy &
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Start your students’ differentiated math adventure using KinderTEK iPad math!

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Sunday, November 29, 11:00 am–12:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Dr. Mari Strand-Cary  
KinderTEK is an engaging, interactive iPad-based math program targeting kindergarten whole number concepts. KinderTEK Pro Connected helps teachers provide high quality math instruction whether students are home, school or both! Students use the same account everywhere. Parents and teachers access reports in the app or through an online dashboard.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Topic: Distance, online & blended learning
Grade level: PK-2
Subject area: Math
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.
  • Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

KinderTEK (KTEK) is an engaging, interactive iPad-based math program designed to improve students’ math outcomes through learning activities focused on whole number concepts. KTEK incorporates kindergarten level mathematics, general educational technology development principles and principles specifically shown to be important for students struggling with early mathematics. As well, it offers engagement/behavioral supports that are particularly important for students struggling with attention and self-monitoring. Through KTEK, students experience engaging individualized math instruction, assessment, practice and review, as well as rewards, progress monitoring, and formal reporting. Educators use the app or an optional teacher website to manage classes; adjust settings (e.g., activating engagement supports, timers, progress views, and instructional modes); view reports; and access KTEK resources.

Developed and evaluated with federal funding, the KTEK system and implementation resources support use in a wide variety of contexts with a wide variety of students. The app now offers four instructional modes and supports used by students with a range of learning and behavioral challenges, gives teachers increased control over content and instructional presentation, and provides students with more explicit accounts of their own learning. A robust data dashboard, website and implementation resource library support educators in implementation and data-based decision making.

KTEK was designed to provide timely, engaging, individualized instruction to all students and give students at risk for math difficulties and those with other disabilities additional supports with which to engage in mathematics. With a 1:1 model of use, developers capitalized not only on the UDL and assistive capabilities of the iPad, but on the ability to have different settings for different users (i.e., settings that change the look, feel, content, demands, and supports comprising the instructional experience) and to use every student-input (or lack thereof) as a form of formative assessment to determine the following instruction and to report to students and teachers how students are learning from the program.

Our overarching objective is for PreK-Gr3 teachers, coaches, and administrators to have the knowledge and confidence to start implementing KTEK in a meaningful, productive way in their classrooms. Specifically, we want educators to learn why the KTEK system was developed and about the ways in which it can help educators provide differentiated instruction to young students with a variety of learning needs. To do this, attendees will learn about the underlying research, experience the app as a student, and have a chance to explore the management and simple reporting features of the app and the optional online data dashboard. KTEK was designed to be intuitive for teachers and students alike. Nonetheless, educators with different student populations, resources, and varying “tech-savvy,” classroom roles, and priorities can benefit from resources and trainings aimed at their specific needs. For this reason, KTEK offers many implementation resources that may be helpful at different stages of adoption and implementation. Participants will walk away from the session knowing how to decide whether KTEK-Basic or KTEK-Pro is the best fit for their classrooms and what types of implementation resources exist to support their KTEK adventure. Along the way and if time allows, we will encourage the group to share best-practices around implementing individualized iPad-based programs in classrooms serving the youngest students.


Pre-session: As participants arrive, they will be provided with logins and, if needed, devices/headphones as supplies allow; if time, they will be encouraged to confirm/troubleshoot sound and wifi functionality by watching video about KinderTEK

Introductions (5 min)
--Introductions of presenters and KinderTEK research program
--Partner introductions and “who’s in the room?” poll
--Introduce green/yellow/red signaling system and ask them to signal if they need technical assistance

Common Challenges of differentiating math for young students and how KinderTEK solves them (10-15 min)
-- Think-Pair-Share + Discussion with examples pulled from KinderTEK system
-- Tech troubleshooting, if needed

Play KinderTEK and debrief as a full group (30 min)
-- Log in as a particular student and play one 10-min session of KinderTEK in sequenced mode, trying to get everything correct for the first activity and making mistakes during the second activity
-- Discuss how that felt as a student (and whether “high” vs. “low” students had different experiences) and how that was intended (or not) by KTEK developers
-- Discuss what they noticed (good or bad) as an educator and how that was intended (or not) by KTEK developers
-- Presenters point out what session features may have been active for different participants to emphasize differentiation beyond that which comes up in discussion; also talk through exploration mode’s hidden features

Experience KinderTEK as a teacher while presenters guide learning about KinderTEK management and reporting in the app and on the data dashboard (20-30 min)
-- Navigate to the app’s teacher dashboard and look at the progress, mastery and settings of the student they played as
>Make a teacher note for that student, change the student’s mode and 1-2 other settings
>Take a look at your tablemate’s student
>Generate a report
>Log back in as the original student and see how the setting changes affected gameplay and the user-interface
-- Log onto the online data dashboard (using a browser) and look at the student-level and class-level data
>Does it reflect your changes?
>Create a new student
>Change a couple (different) settings
>Generate (as if to print) student passcode cards for the first week of class
>Generate a report

KinderTEK website and implementation resource library (5 min)
-- Overview of available content and supports
-- PD
-- Evaluation reports
-- Licensing links
-- Chat and other support systems (including “Contact us” form they can use to request further information and continued access to KinderTEK)

Remaining questions (5 min)

Supporting research

(A sampling of research related to KinderTEK products and instructional strategies)

KinderTEK Prototypes –
--Shanley, L., Strand Cary, M., Turtura, J., Clarke, B., Pilger, M. & Sutherland, M. (Accepted). Individualized instructional delivery options: Adapting technology-based interventions for students with attention difficulties. Journal of Special Education Technology.
--Shanley, L., Strand Cary, M., Clarke, B., Guerreiro, M. A., & Thier, M. (2017). Instructors’ technology experience and iPad delivered intervention implementation: A mixed methods replication study. Educational Technology Research and Development, 65, 815–830. doi: 10.1007/s11423-016-9488-8.
--Strand Cary, M. (2016, October). KinderTEK: Research and Evidence-based Technology for Early Math Instruction. Invited practitioner webinar presented by the Center on Technology and Disability (Accessible at )

Related programs by same team –
--Clarke, B., Baker, S. K., Smolkowski, K., Doabler, C. T., Strand Cary, M., & Fien, H. (2015). Investigating the efficacy of a core kindergarten mathematics curriculum to improve student mathematics learning outcomes. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 8, 303–324. doi: 10.1080/19345747.2014.980021
--Doabler, C. T., Clarke, B., Fien, H., Baker, S. K., Kosty, D. B., & Strand Cary, M. (2015). The science behind curriculum development and evaluation: Taking a design science approach in the production of a tier 2 mathematics curriculum. Learning Disability Quarterly, 38, 97–111. doi: 10.1177/0731948713520555

Best practices –
--Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2010). Common core standards for mathematics. Retrieved from
--Chard, D. J., & Jungjohann, K. (2006). Scaffolding instruction for success in mathematics learning, intersection: Mathematics education sharing common grounds. Houston, Texas: Exxon-Mobil Foundation
--Clarke, B., Doabler, C. T., Baker, S. K., Fien, H., Jungjohann, K., & Strand Cary, M. (2011). Pursuing instructional coherence: Can strong tier 1 systems better meet the needs of the range of students in general education settings? In R. M. Gersten & R. Newman-Gonchar (Eds.), Understanding RTI in mathematics: Proven methods and applications (pp. 49–64). Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.
--Clarke, B., Doabler, C. T., Nelson, N. J., & Shanley, L. (2015). Effective instructional strategies for kindergarten and first-grade students at risk in mathematics. Intervention in School and Clinic, 50, 257–265. doi: 10.1177/1053451214560888
--Clements, D. H. (2004). Major themes and recommendations. In D. H. Clements, J. Sarama & A. M. DiBiase (Eds.), Engaging young children in mathematics: Standards for early childhood mathematics education (pp. 7–75). Mahwah, NJ.: Lawrence Erlbaum.
--Doabler, C. T., Strand Cary, M., Jungjohann, K., Clarke, B., Fien, H., Baker, S. K., . . . Chard, D. J. (2012). Enhancing core mathematics instruction for students at risk for mathematics disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children, 44(4), 48–57. doi: 10.1177/004005991204400405*
--Gersten, R. M., Beckmann, S., Clarke, B., Foegen, A., March, L., Star, J. R., & Witzel, B. (2009). Assisting students struggling with mathematics: Response to intervention (RtI) for elementary and middle schools (Practice Guide Report No. NCEE 2009-4060). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education. Retrieved from
--National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2006). Curriculum focal points for prekindergarten through grade 8 mathematics: A quest for coherence. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Retrieved from

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Dr. Mari Strand-Cary, CTL, Univ. of Oregon / Arcodavella, LLC

Mari Strand Cary (Ph.D.) is a Senior Research Associate at the Center on Teaching and Learning at the University of Oregon. She leads the federally-funded KinderTEK iPad math program through which she investigates the power of technology to differentiate math instruction to serve all students while providing actionable data for teachers. Through her other research interests and projects, she supports district-community STEM partnerships, particularly those focused on elementary and middle school computer science experiences and robust high school career-technical opportunities.

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