Successes with using iPad Carts - Year 2
The adventure into the Mac world and iPads was scarry for a PC girl, but know I would cry if you took away my iPad. If you have time and look from Successes and Challenges of year one to year 2 you will find the success grew and we have found work arounds for most of the challenges.
1. Student Engagement Increased
During the first year there was several weeks that a cart just sat. Some of this had to do with our checkout procedure year one, and just getting over the fear of using the devices. But several times during year 2 I had to tell teachers there was not a cart available for the dates they wanted. Which is a sign that the carts are being used more. I also kept data on when the carts were being used.
Another change that took place year 2 was my teaching load was decreased, which did allow for more training, and coaching time with staff, so they were more comfortable using the iPads with students. I also co-taught with teachers when it would work with my schedule and was requested. This worked wonderfully, I will try and approach more teachers this next year.
The iPad encourages student engagement, collaboration and problem solving.
3. Camera and Video at your fingertips
It is so nice to walk the halls and classrooms of the school and see all the pictures posted. It will be great next year to be able to post the pictures on the TV units we are getting.
Teachers and students can easily take pictures and video of lessons and what is going on in their room.
5. Apple Configurator
When we started this journey we used iTunes but with the addition of apple configurator, we switched to this model this year. I am happy we switched from only using iTunes to apple configurator most days. When it is working it makes the management process easy and smooth. When things are working I can change something on a cart in less than 30 minutes, add a profile remove an app or add an app. I ask the teachers to give me 48 hours (school days) notice before they want these changes and then I work it into my schedule to complete their request.
In a nutshell, you set your devices up using configurator and supervising the devices, then you purchase the app in Volume purchasing, Redeem the app in iTunes, bring the app from iTunes to Apple Configurator, Check to have the app uploaded and click apply. Once you understand the process and decide what approach you will use, then it gets so much easier. (I discussed this processes in the challenge section of my website).
7. Bredford Cart
I can not say enough good things about this cart. I will add that with the iPad coming with 2 different ends, either 30 pin or lightning speed you need to order the correct cart.
The benefits of the cart are...
9. Volume Purchasing
When I talk with others about Volume Purchasing (VP), even my district, they think it is scary and takes up too much time. That is far from the truth. Once you understand it and get the initial stuff set-up it saves you TIME and MONEY..... You can not load paid apps using Apple Configurator without VP.
Let's see if I can explain how it works. Basically you setup a Volume Purchasing account with apple. (This took some times in our district because a contract had to be signed). Then you have a Volume Purchasing account, this is not the same as your Apple ID.
We use Apple Volume Vouchers to purchase the apps. So I redeem the Apple Volume Vouchers in the VP store. The program facilitator will purchase the apps in the Volume Purchasing store. Then you will send the redemption codes to the individuals that need them or you will redeem them if you are the person setting up the iPads.
VP is for both apps and for eBooks. We have not purchased eBooks.
Advantages of VP (Volume Purchasing)
11. SAMR Model
The SAMAR model was shared with our staff during a staff development from apple and teachers really seemed to grasp it. Do get the biggest band for students to learn the content you are trying to get across, if you move up to the Transformation area that is were the success happens. Having students create and manipulate a task, not just fill-out a worksheet on the iPad. You can start with that to get your fingers wet but its ok to move past that. It's also ok to not always be in the Transformation area of the model. Drill and practice apps would fall under Augmentation in my mind. I feel PBL's help us move to the Tranformation area of the model when well planned out.
13. Improved usage when cart is assigned to one Classroom
One of our carts was assigned to one classroom only. This approach provided for an opportunity for the teacher to integrate the use of the iPad on a regular basis and it just became part of the routine. Also made it really easy to use edmodo with her classes. We will be increasing the number of classrooms that have a cart specifically assigned to their room. The logistics have not been completely worked out, but this is what we are moving torwards.
2. Real World Applications
Having students and staff use mobile devices has forced them to help students prepare for the real world. I feel if the iPads were with the students 24/7 and walked into the classroom and then had no choice but to figure a way to deal with this, the real world impact would go sky high. This is happening in pockets in our school. Another advantage of the grant we received is the PBL implementation of our grant. This summer we received training from the Buck institute and teachers also created PBL during summer school. One of the PBL's had the students look at a zoo exhibit. Students had to work together to construct what would go in an exhibit for their animal and how much things would cost.
4. iOS 6
iOS 6 was released in September of 2012. This mobile operating system update is a game changer for schools. Some of the features that are extremely useful that are part of this update are.... 1. allowing apps to share files between apps, like saving pages documents to edmodo, 2. Guided access allows you to manually set a password and lock a student into an app, this works great for centers. You can also use a MDM or apple configurator to lock several iPads into one app.
6. All teachers have an iPad 24/7
I wish I would have a picture of when I hand the teachers their iPads. They understand that they need to turn them in every once and awhile for app and software updates, but it is always stressful for them. They have gotten use to the device, and have a hard time giving it up for a few hours. Yes for some teachers there is definitely a special connection for them. I am like Santa when I return their iPads a couple hours later. The first year of the grant we had the teachers turn in the iPads for the summer, we did this because we were updating their iPads to Apple Configurator, which meant they needed to be reformatted. This was a stressful time. They wanted to work with them over the summer to get more comfortable and to figure out lesson. Also year one not all the teaching staff had an iPad so that made training's and integrating the iPad's a little more difficult. If I would have been able to choose the model. The first thing I would have done is purchase the iPads, cases and apps for all staff that work directly with students and then second semester I would have had iPad's available for classroom checkout. I think this model would go much smoother than how we started.
I feel strongly that if you want to have teachers teach with integrated iPad lessons, they need an iPad.
8. Number of Apps Available
Over 900,000 apps in the app store as of June 2013. (Source)
The number of apps available on a given topic can be very overwhelming. Once you find the correct key words you can usually find something that fits your bill. For example I was looking for an app for our summer school. We paired with the zoo and were going to work with Biomes of the world. Searching Biomes in the app store did not get me the information or apps that I found beneficial. After talking with a co-worker that teaches Science she searched the app store using the keywords ecosystem and we found exactly what we were looking for.
We are also very lucky that the first 270 iPads we ordered we budgeted 30 dollars per iPad for paid apps and the last 70 iPads we budgeted 20 dollars per iPad for apps. We have purchased several apps across the board for all iPads and I would recommend knowing how you are going to deal with paid apps and which ones are a must. We have paid for Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie and Garageband for all devices. I feel the first 4 are a must. With Volume Purchasing that would 17.50 in apps per device. Another benefit of using apple configurator is I can use a paid app on one cart this week, pull the app from that cart and put it on a different cart the next week. So that has helped not needing to purchase apps for all devices. I think with a one on one deployment you would need to make a decision of which apps are required on all devices and which are optional.
10. Ease of Use
This is probably the NUMBER 1 thing for teachers. Once they get over the initial fear of using them with kids, or maybe it will be stolen. I have one math teacher that uses Symphony math with her class. She has always done it on laptops. The app came available this summer and during summer school she did not want to try it, but we talked her into just try it for one day. She said afterwards she asked the kids which they preferred and they said the iPad. There is a lot of on screen manipulation with the iPad and it was easier and more tactile than using a mouse.
The average new user can manipulate and find things on an iPad with very little training. Training on specific apps can get a little more intimidating and scary. There is just no easier device to use out there.
I asked some of the teachers why they prefer using the iPads in the class instead of the laptops. I was surprised by some of the answers, things I had not thought about like....
12. Staff Development
We have used a variety of staff development options to work with all staff. The first year Apple provided us with a day of staff development (at a cost of course), we also did a full in-service day on iPad training. Staff Development was easier to provide this last year because all teachers had an iPad so it could be integrated into any staff development topic. We still need to improve in this area, but teachers have had the opportunities for training in small groups, individually and in their classroom. We also paid for two days of training from apple this year.
Fieldtrip to the Zoo (First time we took the iPads off campus)
During the month of June this year we had summer school. Our community partner was Sedgwich County Zoo. During this process the zoo came to our school and present to elementary and middle school both in a large setting and a smaller setting. Teachers taught about biomes in their classrooms and Mrs. King brought animals and artifacts to share with the students. The very last day of summer school we went to the zoo. Each group of 10 or less students had and iPad. They were to answer the 4 questions assigned to their group. Like a scavenger hunt, but on the iPad. They answered their questions using an app called Story Book Maker, there is a cost to this app but is well worth it. This was successful for most groups. The elementary students and teachers resisted some because they had not used the iPads and much. Because it was the last day of summer school I do not have all the books compiled, but Ms. Plotners group really went above and beyond with this lesson, and I will link to their PDF.