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iPads are a rapidly developing area of education. There have been a large number of trials and a huge selection of apps available. In the largest study in Victoria, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. So here are the basic steps for planning your iPad installation.
1:1 means that the students are going to be individually assigned an iPad or bring in their own device. The advantages of this approach are that the students are given individual responsibility for the device and that they can save work to it and be confident that it will be there when they next use it. The disadvantages are that you may not control the installation of apps, particularly if students take the device home.
Class sets mean that the school takes more responsibility for the devices and that either means you need excellent WIFI and a place to save students' work to or a teaching assistant who will ensure that the data is saved appropriately. If you have setup Google Apps for Education or Edmodo and have a reliable Internet connection, then you will have no difficulties.
iPads are very easy to use and children will grasp what to do almost immediately and children know how to use them for what they want to do. It took less than 10 minutes for my daughter to get onto the Barbie app, play with Talking Tom and Angry birds. However to ensure that they are pedagogically useful, you need teachers familiar with the creative apps and can plan lessons that make full use of these abilities. A good Blog for primary teachers to read is: http://mrandrewsonline.blogspot.co.uk/ A more in depth guide for secondary schools covering all of the relevant technology including Netbooks and Android can be found at: Learning Untethered. Giving teachers a term's head start before your main purchase is an excellent way to give them time to plan and become familiar with the tools. If you are using Capita's SIMS MIS system there is an app. (Sims Emerge)
Below are a few sample Apps that I have found useful categorized by Blooms Taxonomy.
Have a look at subject specific apps here: http://www.apple.com/education/apps/
In an ideal world, you would have a deluxe package for your teachers to ensure that they get off to the very best start. However as a minimum ensure:
The Technician has setup:
All Teachers who use iPads Know:
You know your school best, but I always find it helpful to have a schema, so here are two examples of iPad policies for Secondary schools:
Once you have checked the basics you are likely to want to set assignments on the iPad. Remember that this is quite different to more traditional marking. You could print everything out, but that really does defeat the purpose of a potentially paper free environment! Here are three ways to save assignments:
1. Blog it - Easy, set up accounts for your students to blog their work. They can include words, pictures and video. You and their peers can comment and mark it online. Both Wordpress and Blogger work well with iPads.
3. Use Email - If all else fails, email generally does the job!
The tech enthusiasts have had great fun using iPads and the engagement from students has been fantastic. Tablets really bring the learning closer to young children and help to organize the older ones. I would imagine that 5 years from now lugging a satchel full of books will be seen as so last century! Really you are only limited by your imagination!
There's a lot of fun and learning to be had out of the iPad, this lesson was done by one of my Digital leaders and he proves that even Maths lessons can be fun:
Other useful Resources