On Friday 4th May I presented to the Cluster Primary Heads on the use of innovative I.C.T in education, specifically highlighting the use of iPads in schools.
This blog post is a quick summary of the content I covered during that meeting, although not exhaustive, it was an introduction to a set of curious Primary Heads that are looking into the purchase of iPads for their schools.
I would appreciate any feedback and/or clarity on any issues that may be highlighted throughout the post.
iPad’s – Administration:
- Buying Apps: we discussed purchasing apps for numerous devices, and there appears to be conflicting advice. From further research there appears to be different rules in the USA and UK and at present there is no barrier in purchasing one app for multiple devices.
- Security: Apple’s iCloud allows you to track your devices from another devices or website using it’s CPS capabilities. If you download the ‘Find iPhone’ app this will allow you to externally track.
- Storage: Although I do not know of any specific product, there are hundreds on the market designed to store a number of devices.
- Internet Safety: If the device is using your schools Wireless network that has restrictions, it will not allow the user to access blocked websites through the device.
- I have been recommended www.KRCS.co.uk for schools looking at purchasing iPad’s/iPods, however there are other companies out there that may offer better deals/services.
Apps for Staff:
- Dropbox: online/multiple device file sharing. Gives the user access to their files across devices/platforms/locations. Possible uses: sharing resources between cluster schools/sharing cluster documents for head teachers.
- Explain Everything: turn your lessons into videos for students to access from anywhere if you upload them to YouTube or your schools website.
- Evernote: synchronised notes between numerous devices and computers.
- Skype: invite Authors and other people into your classroom for your students to ask them questions, or link your classroom with another classroom somewhere else in the world?
- Twitter: continual 24/7 CPD.
- Socrative: I gave a quick demonstration of this app, great for plenaries.
- VGA cable/Apple TV: used to synchronise your device to an IWB or TV. You can purchase an exchange box to allow your Apple TV to connect to an IWB. The benefit of Apple TV is that it is totally wireless and you an synchronise more than once device.
Apps for Students:
There are thousands of Apps out there! In the end it is down to the individual teacher to find the Apps that will suite his/her style of teaching and their students. However we can always introduce them to resources and apps to get started. Check out these websites with lists of Apps you may like to use in your school:
Here are the Apps that I recommend you may like to download as a starter.
- Singing Fingers
- Google Earth
- World Atlas
- QR Code Scanner – bring your notice boards/textbooks/exercise books to life by attaching videos/text/websites and much more to a QR code.
- Comic Life
Blogging as a class/school has proven to improve literacy scores. Heathfield CPS in Bolton (http://heathfieldcps.net/) is the example I gave at the meeting; please check out the website that is now based around the class blogs. Mr Mitchell (@deputymitchell on Twitter) introduced blogging in 2009. The stats, based on Literacy Attainment:
- 9% >level 5 (2009) to 60% >level 5 (2010).
- 2 years progress in 12 months (2010).
- SEN: 3 years progress in 12 months (2010).
- Improves social interactions with staff, students and parents.
The power of the audience is one of the main motivators for students to write blogs.
- Helps engage students, parents and teachers
- Makes learning cool
- Raise standards
- Breed competition
- Motivate pupils
- Innovative use of I.C.T.
All schools can blog safely if staff, parents and students follow simple instructions and moderate all comments. The attached ICT policies and risk assessment will help you design a policy for your school. Peter Ford (@peterford on Twitter) is a great guy from NorthantsBLT that can help your school get started with blogging.
Twitter for CPD
I strongly recommend encouraging your staff to become involved in the CPD revolution: Twitter (more information in the attached ‘Innovative Teaching.docx’ file). Please follow me on Twitter @MrWickensPE.