Our iPassport was an integral part of our launch to 1:1 students. I was very conscious of the potential problems with simply handing out iPads to 120 eleven year olds and them taking them home on day one. As a parent, I would find this quiet concerning that my child suddenly had this device at home with no understanding about how to use it safely and appropriately.
From this concern, I came up with the idea of an iPassport and Takehome Day. The idea was that we would re-write the first half term’s scheme of work for our project-based curriculum (known as Skills of Success). We would include a significant unit on e-safety and build in opportunities to teach the students about the features and functions of the iPad along with key facilitating apps. I created a series of Edmodo badges and shared them with the rest of the SoS team. We then awarded the badges when students demonstrated competence in each particular area (e.g. e-safety, use of email, using Edmodo responsibly, using keynote effectively etc). Upon collecting all of the badges, the students would be awarded their iPassport and be allowed to take their iPad home. We designated a day about 6 weeks into the term as Take-home Day (having 500 minutes of SoS per week allowed us plenty of time to deliver the curriculum that we had planned and that was necessary). Students were not allowed to take their iPad home before this date but if they had not gained their iPassport by this time, they would continue having to check out and check in their iPad every morning and afternoon until they had earned the required badges.
The impact of this was huge. Students were very highly motivated to demonstrate their competence in key areas in order to earn their badges. The large majority took the iPads home on Takehome Day having a good understanding of e-safety and responsible use. For those very small number of students who ‘lapsed’ with their responsible use, they had their iPassport temporarily revoked until they had shown that they could use it responsibly once more.
This gave parents more confidence about the devices being taken into their homes and gave staff more confidence about the iPads being used effectively and appropriately in their lessons.
I am looking at how I can tighten the whole process up for next year. One idea I currently have is using an app like Book Creator where students demonstrate their competence in key areas by creating a portfolio. This book would then become their digital iPassport and can be shared with parents. Sadly, creating an actual app for this is beyond me (but feel free to offer!)