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The Implementation of iPads at Normandale School

Aim:

To engage Normandale School students in authentic learning experiences through the integration of iPads and iTouches.

National goal 3
Teachers to integrate eLearning effectively into their practice, creating an innovative and exciting learning environment for all.
Cluster Goal 3
Teachers and students use ICTs capably, creatively and considerately within authentic learning experiences resulting inhigher levels of student achievement

Links to current theory/research

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Method, interventions and actions

  • It all began when 2 of the staff attended a mobile device workshop at the end Term 1 2011.
  • Staff personally purchased and explored the capabilities of iPads (iTouches/ iPhones)
  • We then engaged in researching and reading to find out more. We joined groups through the VLN and became involved in international twitter conversations around iPads.
  • We explored using our personal iPads with children to see the capabilities.Set up the structure around use i.e carry, booking system, synching etc.
  • Many shared docs were created to capture readings, tracking information, app organisation structure etc and booking.
  • 10 iPads were ordered  (these arrived end of Term 2 2011)
  • There was time in holidays for teachers to play. All teachers, including support staff, had the opportunity to learn from ground level together. This was a very powerful model.
  • Classes began to use the iPads in different ways across the school. As teachers became more proficient with the use of iPads, they began to think of their learning intentions and then find / use an app to support it
  • Integrated into the planning - Long-term, Unit , weekly.
  • Staff have worked hard to show what we are doing to visiting external groups that have visited to see how iPads are being integrated at Normandale.
  • We have now hosted several workshops after school for our cluster on the effective use of iPads.

 

  • Further Purchases- 5 more iPads to support the need - along with putting iTouches in all classes to allow teachers to manage the apps, search and find ones that will suit their class. The iTouch can be linked to their class blog and enable children to post to it with supervision.

ePortfolios

With mobile devices we capture authentic learning easier and in some situations, post straight to ePortfolios. Some issues we have faced in getting off data off the iPad to the ePortfolio was eased with the change of server and losing proxy settings. We are stil searching for the ‘ultimate app’ that works well in a shared iPad setup getting data off iPads.

Parent eLearning night

We opened the school, allowing parents to come and find out more about how we implement
eLearning into our everyday. This was incredibly well supported and the positive feedback was
amazing. The children has such a wonderful time bringing their parents into the school and teaching
them with the everyday tools.

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Staff meeting slot

Teachers share a new iPad tip or app.  We are continuing to change this to ensure we are sharing
and challenged to find apps that really fit the learning intentions that we are wanting to hit.

Professional Development

  • Mobile devices - Stuart Hale

  • BYOD seminar

Summary of key results

Outcomes and impact:

The engagement of learners when using the iPads is obvious and infectious. The children see it as
a fun collaborative tool that lets them increase and celebrate their progress as a learner. The parent
feedback has been nothing but positive and always inquisitive.
Some children now have iPads at home and are using them through homelearning set at school,
enabling a seamless link to home. There are children who bring their devices (mainly iTouches at this
stage) to school wanting to use them in their learning.
Teachers are constantly finding new apps and / or ways to use apps to support their programme

Conclusions and recommendations (next steps)

  • Further increase the hardware needed to continue this journey. Having tools to be in the class all thetime for when they are needed.
  • Further our exploration of how best to integrate and extend our learners, creating confident andcapable 21st Century learners.
  • Empower learners through student conferences utilising iPads and our other eLearning tools.
  • Developing as a team, supporting and extending each other. We are all going to uLearn in October (yipee)
  • Empowering students to direct their own learning with the tool/app selection that suits the learning intention and their learning style.
  • We are exploring the BYOD idea as we have a ruckus system already in place and functional.