I wrote this and sent it around at work today and thought I'd put it out here too.
I wanted to share four articles I’ve came across recently that might be of interest. Some are about iPads, some about 1:1 programs, some just about the relationship between tech & pedagogy.
Written by Charlie Roy, principal of Peoria Notre Dame HS in IL. They have been using MacBooks for two years in their HS and he shares a few key lessons learned as well as a couple of their struggles. The most interesting part to me was in the comment section where he shared the PD sessions that their teachers went through in the year leading up to the rollout.
A very short article that gets at an important issue for schools that have some iPads but not a full 1:1 setting (that is most of us I think.) It also alludes to the fact that, for the iPads to really come alive and transform the learning process, they need to used more deeply than just simply having “drill”-type apps. They are just as powerful as a computer so we need to strive for higher levels of Bloom’s; using them to create, not just to remember or identify.
Continuing that same theme, this is from a 4th-5th grade teacher in Chicago Public Schools with a classroom set of 32 iPads. She is talking about taking those steps, often scary, to transform your classroom and your teaching. “The problem, I began to realize, was my own understanding of how the iPads should be utilized in the classroom. I had seen them as a supplement to my pre-existing curriculum, trying to fit them into the structure of what I’d always done. This was the wrong approach: To truly change how my classroom worked, I needed a technology-based redefinition of my practice.”
This article is a bit longer. It shares the combined experiences and thoughts, in six critical areas, from two Florida HS’s that implemented iPad 1:1 programs. The basic IT info (cost, network concerns, management, etc) is good but the key parts are under Philosophical Framework and Pedagogy (on Page 3), “It is our experience that schools must answer one important question: "Why are we doing this?" In our estimation, the answer to the question largely determines the success of your program.”
I also think it is great that their first critical area is leadership, “Perhaps the most critical, yet overlooked, issue related to technology deployments is leadership….It is our experience that launching an iPad program requires a champion with sufficient positional power to command the attention of all constituents within the school community, including the head of school, faculty, IT staff, parents, students, and community leaders.”