Successes and Challenges Year 1 IPad Deployment at PVMS.........
I hope the resources and experiences we have had at PVMS are helpful for you. Feel free to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Over the past 18 months the challenges with the iPad implementation has changed, and in alot of ways gotten smaller. iOS 6 has greatly decreased some of our challenges.
When you move away from the 1 on 1 model that apple intended for iPads, you increase the time to setup and Manage the device. We at PVMS started to big, which meant time was a factor. The first year of the grant I taught the majority of the day and was to keep all technology up and running in the building and the iPads was just one component of this. Apple told us once the devices and carts are up and running, then it is not very time consuming and that is just not true. They take more work and time to keep them up and running then laptops.
Things to consider in relation to amount of time iPad carts take
Knowledge of Apple
As the technician for our building I had never touched or managed apple devices and I was going to be in charge of 200 devices at the beginning and before the first year was over we had 274 iPads, and 8 macbooks, Apple TV's, and a Mac Mini
WorkFlow Was a Challenge, NOW a Success
I have placed workflow or handing work in as a challenge, because for the first 15 months of our deployment handing work in was a challenge. Our district did not allow us to have student email accounts or put email on the iPads. So how do you get the work turned into the teacher. We could not use a WebDav server either. The district did not feel comfortable with this. So we were limited to pictures. But in December, EDMODO came to our rescue and is no providing file sharing with their app. So students can put files up and down to their backpack in Edmodo, and then hand them in on an assignment. THIS IS A DEAL BREAKER, no more excuses from teachers. File Sharing article from Edmodo.
Ownership / buy-in
The grant was written for us. There was not individual and team buy-in for the devices. The first year the grant specified which teachers and which classes that could use the iPads. This put a division in the school. Year one, social studies, science and exploratory could use the carts. It was not a one to one model, so we still need to have teachers check out.
Second year of the grant we opened up the use of the carts to all classrooms, and all teachers have an iPad assigned to them. So that we can keep ownership of the apps we use a layered approach to the iPads. Students had buy-in day one. Teachers need more time. The changes with iOS 6 have helped for with teachers wanting to use the cart. Some teachers have a hard time figuring out how to use the devices in the classroom. I think the easiest way for teachers to buy in to iPads is for them to have no choice and iPads walk into their room with students every hour. So that is not our reality at the moment so we try and balance this with training, technology coaching, and assisting teachers integrate the iPads. Most teachers see the benefits of the iPads once they use them a couple times with their class. It takes time.
There are so many variables and changes over the last 18 months that it is harder to state the successes. Student engagement and motivation to learn is very apparent in the classrooms that use the iPads.
Its Just better
One of the best reasons to go with iPads of the traditional laptop is cost. You can get on average 2 iPads for the cost of 1 laptop. Which may allow us in the future to afford a 1 to 1 deployment. Our district is not ready to support that at this time, but it would be a great goal. 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....
Students do not want to loose the privileged to use the iPads. They are just more interested even if it is an activity that could also be done on paper, just more engaging. An example of this is I do a lesson every year on Cyber Bullying. I use an app called Professor Garfields CyberBullying and Idea Sketch app. The students work in groups of two. Reading the comic book and filling out the graphic organizer. They talked about this activity for days when we used the iPads. I have done this same activity other years with their website and a paper graphic organizer, and the kids did not buzz about this activity unless I brought it up.
Using iPads in stations or centers has been very successful. During computer class for the Intellectual Disabled students iPads is one of the stations they go to everyday. I think working with 19 disabled students that are normal divided into two classes, the iPads has helped them stay focused and have an opportunity to use technology at there current level. They have used several content apps, but they also like to use the camera, (then we make a book out of the pictures), educreation has been a tool for me to see what they know on a given topic, the student record the assignment like writing their name, or sight words and then I can review it later to see how they are doing. I also know that Science and math classes have used the iPads in stations.
Students need to work on current technology. 21st century skills are more than just problem solving, it is having the opportunity to use new and cutting edge technology, or students are lucky to be able to do this. There future will look so different than what we can image, so if we are using 10 year old technology we are doing them a disservice.
Science Class that Rocks!
One of the science teachers, Mrs Candea-Kromm, took the challenge last year of using the iPads in the classroom to the next level. She uses the iPads with the kids on a regular basis if not daily. Year two we opened the use of the carts for all classroom, she panicked don't take the iPads from my class we use them. So she is the only classroom that at this time keeps the cart full-time Her students use Edmodo, Educrations, Google Earth, Safari, Jumbo Calculator, Sock Puppets, Quizlet, Keynote, iMovie, Wikipanion, the camera and so much more daily. Checkout here blog where she is sharing the great things they do in class....
Its not about the APPS - Its abOUT learning
The first place the teachers typically look to incorporate iPads is apps, but when I work with them I like to start with a sound lesson. Then help them find an app or a use of the iPad to enhance their lesson. Don't start with the app and figure out how to work it in your curriculum I also think that there is a place for the content apps, but you get the biggest band for the buck by having the students create things with the creation apps. Another benefit of the creation apps is it is usually a group or collaborative project, which some teachers are reluctant to do, so the iPads help with the implementation of group work.