Thursday, 7 February 2013

Questions from Maggie!

Just a few questions.....

Was there a great uptake by parents to come to the training session? 

We planned for around 40 families from the beginning, the sessions ended being around 20 families. This isn't too disappointing because this was for the very basics of iPad use and many people already use an iPhone or iPad device. Future sessions will include discussions on the 'Flipped or blended' classroom models, How creation apps work and the move away from content, a discussion on Blooms and how the Tablet allows teachers to work with higher order thinking, and how the parent can use the tablet to promote reading and analyses skills.

You say that you will do the same for other devices.....which forces me to ask the question of what is the breakdown of BYOD in the school?

We have a BYOT strategy, T being for tablet, and we allowed the use of any tablet the family chose. Generally about 95% have chosen the iPad and the rest have an android Tab (we only have 2 Slates in the school). 

We did recommend the iPad to parents due to it's 'safer' (or 'closed', depending on your point of view!) app environment, however as a group we decided that to make a choice for a family would be against our IT committee's open platform policy. This did mean a long discussion and some hard debate!

Strategies for getting the teachers on board of coping with different devices in the classroom?

Simply...I have been given the time to spend with teachers, we ask them to plan lessons that require the student to create content on the Tablet and not specifically use an App to deliver content. Occasionally they might need a specific App, in which case the students without the specific app share an iPad or Tablet with another student. We have found that most Apps are available on both platforms (and many have websites that can be accessed and used on-line).

In order to help the teacher we have made the scheme voluntary for the first term of 2013 (until May) after which every child is required to have a Tablet of some sort. All we require of the teachers is to use the tablet occasionally in class, even if it's just a textbook or novel to read. At the same time we are training the teachers how to use the tablet and getting them to understand that how content is delivered by the student is not important but rather what is in the content should be judged. We have some teachers who's adage is 'I just let the kids teach me!' and that is possibly the best strategy we could hope for!

Hope this helps Maggie!