Yesterday we again had the pleasure of hosting another school to our college for a PL experience revolving around our 1:1 iPad program, Mt. Pleasant Primary School from Ballarat.
Their Principal Phillip Gladman and 3 of his dedicated staff came out for half a day to see our students in action and converse with several of our staff members about the trials and tribulations surrounding a 1:1 iPad program. As I say to all visitors that we have to our college I feel that there’s no better professional learning that can take place other than visiting other schools and seeing effective teaching and learning in action.
Phillip and his staff were keen to see how our iPads were being integrated in to our classroom settings as well as finding out some of the particulars surrounding our 1:1 model.
It is always great to hear what other schools are up to and how they, themselves are integrating technology in to their own teaching practices and then to have the option to network and discuss professionally what each setting is doing.
One of the things Mt. Pleasant were interested in were how student/teacher correspondence is managed, especially in relation to teachers obtaining work, etc…
At MLC we use two main methods, Dropbox but also of Google App’s and Gmail.
Being a Google App’s for Primary and Secondary Education College, we have pretty much full range and use of Google’s Applications meaning that all students in our College can be issued with a Gmail account, 25GB of online storage, and full access to the suite of app’s available. At this stage we have all students from years 5-10 with their own MLC Gmail account. This makes the sharing of work via email with staff a very easy and efficient process. For more information of the whole Google App experience, head here: Google App’s for Education.
Another excellent resource that we discussed was that of YouTube for Schools, which as a college are currently about to roll-out. Like most, if not all schools in that state of Victoria, Internet bandwidth can be a major issue for schools and colleges. This means that when there is heavy traffic on a schools network, the internet can become very slow causing for headaches, frustration and often mass confusion! If schools have sites like YouTube unblocked, this can obviously result in a LOT of downloads, and as a result the Internet at that school will become very slow.
YouTube for Schools allows for schools to set up their networks and back end so that when students access YouTube, they are instantly redirected to the YouTube for Schools section, giving them access to ONLY educational based material plus, any other mainstream videos that staff have added manually. I know here at MLC this will drastically cut down on bandwidth issues we occasionally have with students streaming video off YouTube to solely listen to music. For more information on this, click this lick: YouTube for Schools
Lastly, I showed several excellent resources and sites which can support iPad implementation and application finding for educational needs. These I will include, once I collate them all in to an organised manner, in to a new post!
Hopefully the fantastic people from Mt. Pleasant PS took something away from their visit that they can use, either positive or negative from their experience!, which will assist them in their tech integration! We look forward at hearing of the great things that I am sure are already coming out of such a focused and driven school!