Where I’m at

Having created a number of draft posts and broken the process of the iPad deployment that I’ve been involved in into stages, it is taking on the form of a dissertation (or even a short book). I have decided to start today with a summary of where I am currently at with the iPad deployment. I will continue to work on my full write up and publish it online separately (not sure what format yet but it will be on this site in some form).

Currently, all of our Year 7 students have an iPad Mini Retina provided for them by the school. They take the device home, so it is a full 1:1 programme. All teaching staff and some support staff have iPads too and have received a wide range of CPD over the last two years. Our integration of iPads can be summarised by the following timeline over the last 2 and a half years ( I was working from a starting point of virtually no use of mobile technology in any lessons – I’m excluding a laptop trolley from my definition of mobile technology here):

1. Several iPads given to members of staff

2. Initial upgrade of wireless network

3. Two bookable sets of 30 iPads available for students

4. iPads given to all teaching staff (July 2013)

5. Full upgrade of wireless network

6. iPads provided for all of Year 7 (September 2014)

These stages have been vastly simplified and do not cover any of the training, strategy meetings, creation of digital leaders, management processes, parental engagement sessions, technical stuff etc (I will cover these in later posts).

Our Year 7 skills based-curriculum (Skills of Success) has pioneered the use of iPads to support learning. Other departments are beginning to change the structure of their lessons to take advantage of the availability of mobile technology – our next step will be to embed these changes into the curriculum, possibly with iTunes U.

Specific areas that I will post on over the coming weeks are: curriculum development, workflow, organisation and management of devices and assessing impact of 1:1. Most importantly, I’ll be writing about how iPads have supported our whole-school focus on effective pedagogy.

Year 7 students have now been taking the iPads home for just over a whole term. The most recent student survey (it is incredibly easy to run student voice surveys using Google Forms when every student has a mobile device) was overwhelmingly positive about the following areas:

‘iPads improve the speed at which I learn’
‘iPads have helped me produce better quality homework’
‘iPads have led to me spending more time on my homework’
‘iPads allow me to learn in new ways that wouldn’t be possible without one’
‘iPads allow me to be more independent in my learning’

e.g.

ipad data1

(1-strongly disagree, 5-strongly agree)

I will write in more detail about our survey results a part of a post examining the impact of 1:1.

I’m pleased with the progress we have made so far. Currently, we are planning how to extend our programme to the rest of the school later this year.

So that is where I’m at. If you take anything from this first post, it should be that it has taken well over two years to get to this point. It could have been done more rapidly but the chances of failure would have been higher and the impact would not have been as positive.

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