Here we go again......
It is hard to believe that we are now preparing our third cohort year to go 1:1 with our BYODD program!
The students received their DOW email accounts early in the year and initially learnt all about the Google Apps for Education suite. They use the school shared iPads on a regular basis to support learning during their library lessons & classwork. Late in the year they will look closely at the Apps that have been chosen to support their learning in Year 5.
What a year we have had so far!
As our Year 5 1:1 iPad Program continues to evolve as a seamless addition to an already motivated and enthusiastic cohort, our Year 4 students are also currently preparing so they too can 'live the dream'. Yes...live the dream, for this is how they describe what it would be like to be a 1:1 iPad grade.
It is fair to admit that this first year of our 1:1 iPad Program hasn't come without some element of change and challenges, but the success of how learning has been transformed (largely due to the commitment of both our Year 5 students and teachers) far outweighs the negative.
When in the Year 5 classrooms it is clear to see the learning culture is of engaged, collaborative and stimulated students. They are highly skilled, independent and challenged at a personal and global level with almost all they do.
The shift from the ordinary to the extraordinary is apparent in their discussions, their creations and the smiles on their faces. I hope their journey continues to challenge, delight them and surpass even their own expectations of learning.
On Thursday 13th February we held our Official 1:1 iPad launch night. All year 5 students attended with a parent. After a presentation highlighting how an iPad can enhance & transform learning, students and parents were given the Policy and User Agreement to sign.
So much preparation has happened over the last 12 months to get this Learning Programme happening. We are days away from our official launch and I know we are ready!
Our Year 5 students and teachers are excited . So if you have teachers and students excited about learning... that is a great foundation for our first iPad 1:1 Learning Programme to start on!
A big THANK YOU to the Wollongong CEO IT staff for their ongoing advice, support and assistance during this journey.
A quick checklist of behind the scenes preparations!
Last Tuesday 3rd September the iPad Planning Committee visited St Joseph 's Bulli and St Paul's at Camden.
Both of these schools have their own iPad Learning Programs operating & graciously allowed us into their schools to share their experiences.
St Joseph's are now in their second year of having personally owned iPads in their school, so therefore the students in Years 5 & 6 are both using them as an effective tool to support learning. We were able to go into the classrooms, watch several lessons and talk to many of the students. It was fantastic to see the engagement of the students and the seamless way they worked with technology in the process of achieving a learning outcome.
St Paul's Camden are in their first year of their iPad Learning Program. They have 3 Year 5 classes, but like our school have used shared iPads in the classrooms for a while. A group of Year 5 students presented us with a very detailed and exciting discussion and display of how they are using their iPads. Their presentation was impressive and it was easy to get a sense of the excitement and motivation the students have for their learning, especially with the creative ways they were able to express their individual learning.
We all came away from both schools feeling more excited and passionate about our own journey.
On Tuesday evening 21st June all Year 4 parents were invited to a presentation in the STA iCentre regarding our plan for the implementation of a 1:1 iPad Program for Year 5 2014. At the meeting I outlined how technology has the potential to engage students in ways not previously possible, to improve learning outcomes, to create new learning possibilities and to extend students’ interaction with their local and global communities. I also referred to current research as well as preparing our children with essential 21st century skills and the new Australian Curriculum.
I introduced the parents to this support Website & spoke of our plans to hold parent 'Bootcamps' to enable parents to also be up- skilled as part of our shared iPad journey.
Through general comments on the night & after (& via the "Parent Survey" found on this website) we have found the majority of parents support and are excited by our program.
Last Thursday the iPad 1:1 Planning Committee officially met for the first time. The committee members are myself (Mrs V Preddey), Mrs A Moroney, Mrs J Ferguson, Mrs J White and Mr G Norris.
At this meeting we discussed plans for our parent information meeting. Tuesday 25th June was set as the date. An invitation will be sent this week to the current Year 4 students' parents.
Financial support issues and future school visits to schools in the Diocese already in 1:1 programs were also discussed. The group were introduced to this support website.
Over the last 2+ years we have had pods of iPads (3x6) available to use in all classrooms and over the last year each student has had access to an iPad during their weekly library lesson (16 - one between 2). We also have iPads available to the Enrichment team (5). The use of these iPads has been varied, from drill & practice, to Internet browsing and content creating. Over this time I have offered various types of PD sessions for the staff, boot-camp type lessons with particular classes (at teacher’s requests), information sessions for parents and have worked with classes during my library lessons on various work-flow options relevant to the set task.
Currently I am managing all the iPads, which is an ENORMOUS job. The downloading & updating of Apps and software is time-consuming & at times not possible on our school network. I often have to take the iPads home to carry out this task.
Late last term we purchased an iPad for every classroom teacher to support them with their teaching. I assisted every teacher to set up their device and I will continue to offer support with relevant and consistent PD sessions throughout the year. A once a fortnight-scheduled meeting is planned with a choice of 2 different times to enable flexibility for all staff to attend one of the sessions. It is hoped by providing the staff with their own iPad they will become comfortable with their device & begin to realise its potential as a powerful and exciting tool to support learning. They are already using it with the “Real Time Roll” & for emails. This term I will be working every Friday, availing myself more time to support student & teacher learning in the area of ICT.