iPad 1:1 Program: The Journey Begins!
There was a buzz in the air on the first day of school this year; maybe it was the new iPad Air that had influenced the mood in Year 6.
Year 6 2014: It is my first year teaching in a 1:1 iPad programme. I will be using my blog to document the programme successes, challenges and evaluate the power of BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices) within schools.
I will be working closely with my colleagues
Paul Huebl: http://paulhuebl.com/ and
Andy Peartree: http://anderspearz.edublogs.org/
to plan, modify and restructure the way we work in Year 6. We have spent a considerable amount of time experimenting with apps, discussing workflow issues and adapting existing Year 6 planners to meet the needs of the ever-changing learning environment.
I particularly enjoyed our recent shopping spree, purchasing beanbags, cushions and classroom décor to create flexible working spaces within our areas. Here are some photos of the space we have created for our students:
So far we have had many compliments from students, parents and other colleagues in the way we have set up our spaces. One parent compared the space to a corporate trend called ‘hot desking’ also known as Activity-based Work Spaces
This system is considered favourable in work productivity. There are not enough desks for each individual at the same time; instead there are workspaces where people can choose to work to suit their specific needs.
- No iPad’s were broken at school!
- All students had their Apple ID’s, passwords and codes ready to go, everyone was connected to the wireless facilities within the school and all iPad Acceptable Usage Agreement forms were signed by students and parents.
- The students and teachers created the iPad Essential Agreements:
- Students learnt how to submit work via Airdrop to their teachers. Here are some examples of the work that they Airdropped:
- Students joined all of the Year 6 Edmodo groups, one created for each subject area.
- Apple ID’s and passwords: Some parents were reluctant about giving these details to the teacher. We explained that the only reason we need to have these details is in situations where students will forget passwords or there is a need to install an educational app at school.
- A few complaints about the compulsory iPad cover with school logo. Some parents were concerned about the design and wanted to buy individual covers to protect their investments (stronger cases etc.)
- What happens when a student forgets to bring his/her iPad to school? (This actually happened on the 3rd day!) We returned to old school methods, but it was inconvenient and we needed to get this student connected with set tasks on Edmodo! In this situation a student can borrow a laptop from our School IT area or share a screen with another student/ teacher.
- Paddlet issue: One student was posting silly messages on the shared board. This was actually a great teachable moment. Students did not like this and it was a great way to begin our Digital Citizenship Unit, opening discussions about what we should or shouldn’t post online, including proper netiquette rules.
- Connecting our new boards to our iPads, we had a few issues with display and sound. Some professional development is still required in the setup and training on how to use these new boards.
- Monitoring screen time and students using iPads appropriately, revisiting the iPad Essential Agreements.
Overall a highly successful and engaging week at school! We had lots of happy students and parents, mainly because students were very organised and efficient at school. Students were able to work collaboratively and independently with ease. Exciting times ahead.
Goals for coming weeks:
- I’m looking forward to using iBook Creator with my students this week, introducing how to use this in Language & Literature lessons.
- All school selected apps (a list we have created) will be installed on student iPads, looking forward to using them.
- Parent information evening is this week, hoping to explain the program to parents and get them all onto Edmodo.
- Running Parent workshops introducing Edmodo, Edublogs and organisation structures.