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iPod Touch Initiative

Greater South Canterbury Cluster iPod Touch Initiative.

 

Timaru South School (TSS)

 

Full Primary School Year 1 to 8

 

Context - iPod Touch integration throughout school.

 

Research model Used – Trial & Error, online research, Seminars, Kaiapoi Borough School.

 

Aims and Purpose – to integrate 40 iPod Touches into the school for all classrooms to access for support of the classroom curriculum programmes.

These fit with National Goal 3 of the elearning planning framework.

 

We started down this path after attending a seminar with Ash Main-Donald of Kaiapoi Borough School. He inspired us to purchase enough iPods to give to each teacher and enable them to play and discover the potential that was available. 

What do they offer…

Camera, Video, Voice recorder, Internet, Email

Applications (Apps) – curriculum based ie, maths, literacy, science, arts, etc.

Dictionaries, Thesaurus,  Atlas

After this we researched our possibilities, needs, costs, support to enable us to proceed.

For a long time we have strived to get as many desktop and laptop computers into our classes in an effort to give children access to today’s technology. But it’s never been obtainable due to cost. With the advent of the iPod Touch we realised it was now possible to work towards having a 1:1 situation.

 

Method, Interventions and Actions.

Teachers found the iPod Touch to be fun, simple to use, intuative. With teachers all now keen, we purchased 40 more for classroom use. The Principal, (Mike Hogan) spent time researching the process of syncing and acquiring the hardware required. This process is about setting up the iPods so that they are a mirror image of each other and have the same Apps. This enables teachers and students to know that whichever iPod they have will be set up with what they need.

Considerable time was spent getting and researching suitable apps to support our classroom learning.

We have had to upgrade our wireless system to Ruckus. This has given us a secure and robust system where we can now have multiple networks. We have a children’s network and a teachers network. The children’s network comes on at 8.30 and off at 4.00. The reasoning behind this is that teachers can have uninterupted access, but the childrens network is controlled, so that we can manage usage to be during school time only and the two networks do not interrupt each other.

We have found that there are too many Apps to research and know about. We chose some Apps recommended on the Kaiapoi Borough School web site and some from our own teaching staff. In the itunes store they have a catagory for 'education' and they use a rating system. This was useful. We looked for Apps that would cover Literacy, Numeracy, Science, Arts and Thinking. Some of the Apps we chose where free and others we had to purchase.

So to help us we chose a small number of children to become ‘School Techies’. This served several purposes for us. Empowering these children to lead and teach. They research Apps that teachers suggest and learn how to use them. They then in turn come into classes and teach other ‘class techies’ who in turn can teach the class.

We had a parent evening where an iPod demonstration was presented to them by the Lead Teacher, Principal and School Techies.

 

At the end of the presentations the parents were invited to 'have a play'. Parents showed great interest and some wanting their childs iPod synced with the schools, so that they could start bringing them to school for classroom use.

Summary of Results.

Some of the best Professional Development (PD) was to give each teacher their own ipod over the summer holidays before we implemented anything school wide. This was supported with inhouse PD to enable the teachers. Teachers were given a variety of Applications (Apps) that supported Literacy and Numeracy. They were also given access to the school itunes account to find other suitable Apps. 

Conclusions and Recommendations or Next Steps.

We will probably create a third network called Guest for visitors taking part in PD at school. This will keep our other two networks more secure by us not having to give out our passwords.

Many children are now getting iPods as presents or saving for them themselves. This fact and our Ruckus network will enable us to invite students to bring their own devises (BYOD). We see this as having huge potential in the future with families supplying the iPods and us supplying the infrastructure and management.

We will continually look for new Apps that are suitable for class programme support. These are being created daily and we need to keep up with them. We will use our School Techies to help investigate and teach these suitable Apps.

The syncing process is time consuming but neccessary. We have started by syncing once a term. However we have found that some iPods have had Apps deleted or moved. To try and solve this problem we will have to look at syncing twice if not three times a term.

Now that the children and teachers are familiar with using Apps, we are increasingly using and looking for Apps that require higher order thinking from the children, such as 'StoryKit' and 'Pages' where they can use text, photo and audio recording.

 

Up date 17.9.2012

Seminar 23.9.2012 4pm-5pm

11 teachers in attendance.

This Seminar was run to help those teachers who were not able to attend our first seminar. Went back over what we did and how as in the last TOD. Added with update on progress, added security issues (Tony from Geraldine Primary School, GPS),  added QR codes, showed how to use Story Kit. 

Another Seminar has been requested from SPELD teachers.

Interest in this area of iPods and iPads has been growing quickly. Many schools are now making purchases and looking for advice.

Story Kit sample

http://iphone.childrenslibrary.org/cgi-bin/view.py?b=qgoo4eeufidbzyagejja

This boy is 9 years old and has a reading age of 6.5-7. He also has a cleft palate which impedes his speech. Ethan created this simple story by taking photos of his finger, dropping it into Story Kit and then drawing on it and around it to create his character. He also put two sound recordings onto the first page which gave it a background noise. The work was then emailed away to the Story Kit server which then emailed back a link. We have then emailed that link home. Story Kit is extending and motivating this boy.

Security

By setting up the 'Restriction's in the 'Settings' icon we will be able to tighten up our security. A bonus of this will mean that we will not have to re-sync as often.  Visit link and scroll down to Restrictions when setting up Master iPod(GPS in the document refers to Geraldine Primary School).

https://gr8tersthcanterbury.wikispaces.com/Hardware+%26+Software

Syncing

We are looking at upgrading our server in 2013 to either a Mini Mac or a Mac Pro. This will enable us to then start pushing out updates and syncing our iPods and iPads wirelessly. It will enable easier and quicker management of the devices.

 

For further information regarding our work with iPods Touch please visit our Cluster group wiki page.

http://gr8tersthcanterbury.wikispaces.com/Hand+Held+Devices