Technology teacher training must go beyond how to turn-on a device with a brief overview familiarization of its features and apps. It must also include teaching “behavior changing” strategies and techniques to be truly effective in the transition to a 21st century digital learning model. The correct answer to overcoming technology obsolesce… make teacher professional development a key part of every technology purchase!
After talking to many of my colleagues over the last few days, I realize there are many schools looking at some version of iPad deployment and they want to do it right. In order for the iPad to be a great learning tool, you’ll need your teachers fully committed to it. It requires time and effort to prepare teachers for such a deployment, so make sure you have staff in place to do it.
If you are considering iPads as a 1:1 device or a classroom set for your school, you will need to have support and maintenance systems in place before you deploy. These are some questions you should ask.
There are many things I’ll detail over the course of the year, but there is one thing sticking out right now, and I must share it with you in case you are considering a similar 1:1 project: TRAIN STUDENTS TO USE EMAIL APPROPRIATELY.
Our school is in the midst of piloting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) with students. I like the way we've done the pilot- we basically opened it up for students before creating an official policy. By doing this, we were able to see problems or issues come up naturally. Instead of trying to guess and overthink all the potential dangers, we just dove in and dealt with reality. If your school is moving in the BYOD direction, I highly recommend doing it this way.
I particularly love what they have to say about letting the students have their own iTunes accounts and letting them load their music and apps on the devices and the learning opportunities those decisions have created in regards to responsibility and balancing appropriate use of the devices. Another interesting point - technology integration has increased because teachers can no longer say that there is an issue with student access to technology.
Our leaders are committed to the best school experience for every child. We want them to learn, to grow, to be able to function in the real world. To that end, we have started putting computing devices in students’ hands. And we allow students to bring their own devices if they have them.
iPadpalooza is a one day festival held at Westlake High School in Austin, TX. The event is a celebration of the cultural-shift the iPads have brought about in education and the world. This event will focus on creativity, social collaboration, engagement and the compelling ways schools have integrated iPads into their classrooms. The festival will be on Tuesday, June 19th.