Friday, October 14, 2011

iPads in the K classroom - notes

iPads for Kindergarten students needs to be thought of as a "tool for learning" not a piece of technology.
Learning in the Hands of Children - Advantage 2014
Project began with a Literacy Specialist that used her personal with her students - extremely successfully. 
The chose grade level for equitable distribution across their 6 schools - and decided to 'begin at the beginning'.  iPad interface lends itself to young students - no keyboard / mouse abstraction - touch screens for gross and fine motor skills.
Demonstrated the actual apps with the school committee - each member had an app in hand - there was total acceptance and 100% vote.  There was some public push-back, former Gov. King then visited the next meeting in support. The students do not take them home at this point (probably as a result). During the day this is just an addition to what kindergarten classes do.
Still some technical issues with large distributions and management of devices.
Gave teachers the iPads at the beginning of summer - met in August to debrief and collect apps, etc.  They used Google survey to collect app names - used a rubric to evaluate the value.  The established a control group and are working with Boston College to study results.  They continue PD through early release Wednesdays.  This aids in communication and reflection on practice.
Nuts and bolts - how to store, charge and deploy apps
syncing - apple ids are set to course / level and not person
syncing to iCloud - apparently a 10 device limit

This is the future - certainly hope this gets easier to manage in the future.

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