If like many schools you have taken the leap from the safety of your ICT suite over to mobile iPads, then you could probably do with a bit of help to navigate through this to the exciting new world of apps and anything goes. This was a situation I found myself in a few months ago. In the ICT room I knew where I was it was safe, you had a scheme and the suite of software you used to teach the curriculum was finite. You knew where to save, where to upload to and it all made sense, but it could also be predictable and limiting. Although I am sorry Mr Gove, I and many of my other esteemed colleagues rarely if ever taught a boring ICT lesson!
Back to the iPads. For a few months I muddled through trying out apps, talking to colleagues via twitter and attending events like those held at Elm Park Primary or at Apple in Regent Street. This is part of the fun, but I do remember thinking I wish there was something I could just pick up and run with, a course or set of notes from someone who has been there before. There are books like iPads in Education for Dummies, which is OK and I managed to plough through a chapter or two, or the more digestible and cheaper Educator’s iPad by Chris “Shambles Guru” Smith. Enter Switched On ICT and their iPad units. What you get is a growing series of tried and tested lessons that feel like they have been written and tried out in UK classrooms.
Here is a video of myself and my ICT Team Partner and electronic music guru Steve Hawke talking about the Projects
The iPad Projects pack is well suited to a school that is moving steadily and strategically into iPad adoption. It contains two exemplars of using iPads in a cross curricular context. These are Mind Mapping and Ebook creation. These lessons appealed to me as a seasoned know it all cynic, but I also felt that I could hand them to teachers who were less confident with the devices as they are detailed and clear.
For us as a school this pack helped us align the iPads to the full Switched On ICT scheme in the form of a matching chart of apps to units. I wouldn’t say I agree with all of these but most of them are spot on! You also get access to a free Online course on using iPads in school, which is something I wish I had access to months ago. It acts as a strong induction and introduction to the technology. It is ideal for those who are starting out on iPad integration, though I picked up some new tips and ideas too!
Mind Mapping apps are explained and presented as a fantastic cross curricular lesson in the pack. Here is a photo of some of the work from my class, taken hurriedly on another iPad.
For me this pack is very good value for money for any school on the iPad journey. It should be on every ICT Coordinators desk, or better still in the PPA room.