Tonight, I am in recovery after two amazing events at the close of the week, these CPD sessions were made possible by the contributions of some real ICT legends. On Thursday we hosted Teachmeet iPad, more on that in an up and coming post. And then, yesterday we hosted, “iPads in the Primary School” at our school.
This was aimed at schools who were considering procuring devices or those that were early on in their iPad journey. Huge thanks to everyone involved in this event, including Laura and Neree from Elm Park Primary School, the team from Joskos for giving us lots of wifi and to Toucan Computing for being the Apple experts in the house.. This event was jointly organised by myself and the team of Dave, Penny and Amanda at Havering School Improvement Service.
Our message to schools could be summed up as follows:
- The iPad is an amazing portable and easy to use device. It is portable and allows for learning and creative expression beyond the confines of a set ICT room.
- This device can really help to reinvigorate the teaching and learning of children with special needs
- Teachers in the Foundation Stage are seeing a considerable reduction in workload and more focussed observations by using apps like 2Build a Profile. or Look at Me from Toucan Computing
- Though use of your ICT room may decrease due to an iPad implementation, remember that iPads can not currently fulfil the programming aspect of your ICT curriculum. There is no Scratch, 2DIY or Python app, though apps like Creatorverse and even the Beebot app do have elements of what John Davitt calls Struggleware, or to put it another way the child has to think, instruct, test and refine their set of commands.
- Digital Leaders / Groups of ICT enthused children are really helping to fashion vision and strategy. In Elm Park, Digital Leaders are busy testing apps, helping in lessons and are more than just monitors.
- To really embed iPads in schools the message is clear : Training Training Training – even though the devices are easy to operate teachers need to get their head around core and secondary apps and what they do. They also need time to reflect on be clear about their curriculum relevance and value.
- The nature and price of Apps means schools can innovate and try out applications quickly rather than investing in an expensive site license for something they may use only two to three times a year.
- For any school embarking on a large-scale purchase of iPads, it is important to really think through why and how theyare going to use them. There are many schools that have bought sets and yet they are still sitting in cupboards or used infrequently as tools for reward or merely internet research devices.
- Start small – perhaps a class, a group or even one device and get a feel of what it can do, before purchasing.
- In these changing times, where CPD is sparse, we need more than ever to share what is working well in our schools – hence yesterday’s event
- iPads in Education – 32 Port Sync & Charge Station for iPads (prweb.com)
- Apps for Children with Special Needs:40 iPad giveaway starts November 10th, 2012 (prweb.com)
- Reading, Reading, Reading (evenfromhere.org)