iPads 4 Learning @ MLP12C

Encouraging Learning Through Mobile Technology Use

Category: PL/Conference (page 1 of 2)

The Evidence Is Here…

Just a small portion of the crowd at Michelle and Jess’ presentation.

On the weekend the annual ICTEV (ICT in Education Victoria) 2013 Conference took place and two of our very own staff, Michelle in Yr 6 and Jess in Yr 3, presented on the wonderful things that we are doing within our 1:1 iPad Programs.

I have been fortunate enough to hear from several of the people that attended their session and they all had nothing but excellent things to say!

One of the highlights from the presentation that Michelle and Jess gave was a video they showed which had been created by one of Michelle’s fantastic year 6 students, Leah. The video, which is embedded below is an outstanding reason as to why our staff and students are leaders in technology use to support learning.

Leah created this digital story based on a narrative that she had written in class and as you can see, it is absolutely amazing! The creativity that she has displayed, especially seeing that the entire video was created on an iPad, is stunning.

If you ever needed evidence to prove that technology has a place in an educational setting to support teaching and learning, this is it.



Teacher iPad Professional Learning Day

The information below can be found on my personal blog however as this information relates strongly here also, thought it best to place it on both blogs! Enjoy!

Our playground for the day…

Last Friday our College had a Curriculum Day which gave staff throughout the school the opportunity to attend relevant Professional Learning. Several hot topics were listed for staff to focus on such as Differentiation, ADC (Australian Developmental Curriculum), Literacy and the National Curriculum, and of course, Learning with iPads, just to name a few.

Staff were given the opportunity to place their name under the relevant professional learning that they wanted to attend in a Google Doc, and the rest as they say, is history.

Being given the option to run a Curriculum Day event based on ICT and more specifically Mobile Technology (iPads), was fantastic. As we run 2 1:1 iPad Programs (prep and years 6 and 7), it gave teachers a chance to learn more about how iPads and Mobile Tech could be integrated in to teaching and learning programs. I had a number of specialist staff from the Phys Ed and Arts areas also attend and this was great as they could gain a greater understanding of how Mobile Tech could be utilised within their own specialist programs!

As we place such a large emphasis on engagement within teaching, i thought it imperative that i do not give a ‘stand and deliver’ type of scenario as that is simply not engaging, no matter how good your Keynote Presentation is!


The day that i orgainsed ran in the following manner;

1. An iPad Amazing Race. 

This involved staff being given an iPad with the selected year 6 and 7 applications, as well as a created eBook that I had produced in their iBooks library. This book outlined exactly what each staff member was to do for the morning and that being having staff visit and use Federation Square as the meeting point, as well as the surrounding landmarks and attractions, to complete a series of iPad based tasks using the app’s available to them! They were to do this in any order, individually, pairs or small groups, and aim to complete as many of the tasks set with the time that they had.

I have embedded all relevant documents below as well as the PDF File of the eBook.

PDF: Curriculum Day Information Document: ICT Curric Day 2012

PDF: iBook Author PDF Version: Curric Day 2012 – Mobile Tech

2. Lunch… at a pub of course! That’s always engaging! 

3. More structured PL held at our IT Partners (Xcite Logic) Offices in Collingwood. 

Anita L’Enfant, Xcite’s National Manager for Professional Learning, run my staff through effective iPad Use and showed them a number of applications that could be utilised within their teaching and learning programs. I have listed these applications below as well as a short piece about what they are and what they do. Thank you to Anita for running the afternoon’s session as it was great for my staff to have Professional Learning that was not ran by myself.

On reflection, and apart from the weather being terrible in the morning, and the iPads not have decent Wifi connectivity, i was very pleased with how the day ran. Feedback from staff was outstanding and i also need to thank them for their patience and participation throughout the day! One thing that I would liked to have altered was the activities within the morning ‘Amazing Race’ component. I would have liked these to not be as… one dimensional as they were, meaning i found them to be a little in the ‘substitution’ mould of things. Meaning, I would have liked a more creative element to them, to really showcase what the iPad can do. But alas, something for next time. I felt the lack of wifi hindered this also and although Federation Square has free Wifi, it’s not reliable for what i would have liked to do.

Working Hard!

Below I have included some feedback from staff about the day which I was very happy to receive!

“Last Friday was really good. It was really worthwhile. I learnt how I could use some the apps in an engaging and practical way that then could be taken back into the classroom and be extended upon for learning. I enjoyed having the opportunity at Excite to explore Apps and work on our books. I liked the application of using it at Fed Square as that is an accessible venue for us to visit for excursions, particularly with years 9 and 10’s.”

“I thought that all of the planned activities were great. It gave me a chance to really think about how I can utilize ICT in a PE environment. Personally it gave me time to experiment with assistance the use of different Apps. I would feel more comfortable in using iPads in PE after being exposed to using an iPad and the various Apps.”

All in all I’d love to run a similar day again, perhaps a whole day of the mornings activities with more staff, with more of a creative and collaborative focus. As mentioned i hope that the staff who attended took some valuable things away for future use because as we know, PL that assists us in becoming better educators is PL worth attending!


Slide2Learn 2012

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Slide2Learn Conference at Albert Park College, in Melbourne. Slide2Learn is highly regarded as an educational tech based conference as it is organised and ran by teachers, for teachers.

As well as not only having the chance to attend, i was also lucy enough to be given the chance to present as well. My presentation was focused heavily on the DEECD iPad Trial that we had been involved in, where we were at now in relation to Mobile Tech integration, but mainly the app’s that we use to support teaching and learning. It was once again great to share our story as well as what the future may hold for us in bringing in greater mobile tech devices to our setting.

Below you’ll find the link to a PDF version of my presentation. Please feel free to download and read it at your own peril!

iCreate & iLearn S2L Presentation

If you have any questions about what is mentioned or discussed, please contact me via email, which is at the end of the presentation.

You will find more about the Slide2Learn Event and the day’s events on my personal blog HERE, in the coming week!


Creating a 1:1 (iPad) Culture









In a previous post not all that long ago I discussed a PLT (Professional Learning Team) that we have established at our college. This PLT will focus solely on iPad Integration via teaching and learning around the use of a mobile technlogies in a 1:1 environment.

This Wednesday we continue our journey as a PLT and our fearless leader in the process, Sam, will be guiding us through the following agenda which i believe will be an outstanding start towards what we hope to achieve.

iPad PLT Agenda:

1) Sharing of what is already happening in our classrooms with the use of iPads and technology integration. (15mins)

2) Outlining of lesson template to collect iPad integration ideas and collate as a resource  (15mins)

3) Time to plan lessons and view current units of work to determine IF the iPads can be embedded to assist student learning (30mins)


You will need to bring:

– iPad and Laptop (for sharing and planning)

– Some examples of iPad work that has been done in your class, or, apps you have been using. Everyone will get a few minutes to share what has been happening in their class. This may include videos of students using apps, actual pieces of work etc…

– A rough idea of an area you’d like to implement iPads into in your teaching… assessment? involving parents? numeracy? homework? come with an idea so planning will be a little more directed.

It will great to see what staff come to the table with and what their ideas are not only this week, yet throughout the whole process.

One document we aim to fully utilise is the template that we have created to assist staff in their development of technology integration and iPad inclusion. This document is one that we have adapted somewhat from the DEECD Contemporary Literacies Research Project that we were involved in throughout semester 2 of 2011. A document which we found very useful last year and feel that it can be just as, if not more so, throughout our iPad PLT Journey. I have attached the document below for those who wish to view it and even perhaps use it to whatever degree!

iPad PLT Template

Once again, we’ll be sure to keep you posted about our iPad happenings wether they be student, teacher, or community minded!

iPads @ MLC Prezi

Yesterday i have the pleasure of speaking to a group of dedicated educators from in and around the Ballarat region who were togther as part of a curriculum day they were all involved in. More information about this can be found HERE.

Below I have embedded my presentation from yesterday fro those who may be interested. It basically outlines where we have come as a college in relation to iPad integration, where we are currently, and where we are heading.


Parent Info Night x 3!

It’s been a busy week, which is really nothing new, ;), however in relation to holding parent information nights it’s been huge! This week on Tuesday evening we held two Parent Tech Information sessions which were very successful and very worthwhile. As you may have read below, these were to support parents in both the usage and management aspects of the device. We are running another two of these sessions tonight for parents who’d like to learn a little more about what’s just been mentioned!

Last night we also held our College Prep information night and as we’re running a 1:1 iPad Program there were many questions relating to this exciting venture. It was absolutely fantastic to receive such great support from the parents after the session had ended.

One avenue of iPad usage in Prep that was discussed heavily was the use of social media with the prep students. Last year we had a number of staff who created Twitter Accounts for their classes and posted about what the students were doing on a regular basis. The support that we had had from this last year was excellent and once again it was great to see and hear that support once again.

Below is the link to the prep information session presentation that i showed parents during lasts nights session. Hopefully you as another teacher, or parent who missed the session, find it useful!

Prep Prezi! 


DEECD iPads4Learning Evaluation Day

Screen Shot 2011-12-09 at 5.49.25 PM

Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending the DEECD iPads 4 Learning Evaluation day at the Victorian Art Centre in Melbourne, a day that i had been looking forward to for quite some time.

It was a day designed to share effective iPad integration practices however more so to reflect on using such a device to assist teaching and learning. It was wonderful to hear the stories of the 10 educational settings involved and see how far that they had come in in the 18mth period of the trial. It was just as exciting to hear what these settings were going to do in the year to come in relation to furthering their iPad journeys.

The various educational settings that were involved in the trial certainly gave a wide and varied indication, all of which was greatly positive, in to how a piece of mobile technology can assist student learning. Specialist schools such as Warringa Park (special ed.), The Victorian College for the Deaf and the Royal Children’s Hospital Education Unit gave great insights as to how mobile technology, with a device as simple as an iPad, can go a long way in assisting students with their learning.

So… down to business. Below i have summarised what “I” found to be the key points of the day broken down in to the nominated categories. A lot of information summarised in to a few sentences/paragraphs. An official report to DEECD will be completed and supplied to the ‘powers that be’ relating to the trial and it’s findings. It is a DEECD decision if that report is handed to the trial schools. Those schools involved in the iPad trial however will receive their own individual reports which i am eagerly awaiting!

Here we go…

– The impact that the iPad had on student learning was high.

– The trial proved, as perhaps we all already knew, that the one factor that drove quality teaching, enthusiastic students and engagement in learning throughout the iPad trial, was quality teachers.

– It’s not the device, but they way that teachers are willing to change their pedagogy.

– The iPad as a device supersedes others. It’s portable, robust, not difficult to maintain, intuitive, and easy to use.

– Students, especially in secondary settings, believed that they know more than the teachers in how to use the device. Primary’s thought they were on par with teachers and students in specialist settings believed that the teachers knew more.

– That overall, the iPad made a great difference to a variety of things. Accessing information anywhere and the notion of ‘speed of information’ was a huge positive.

– Students in secondary settings were less enthusiastic about using the iPad as a learning tool in the classroom. That the older the students, the less engaged they were regardless of having an ipad device.

– A very small cohort of parents across the board felt that the use of the iPad was detrimental to their students learning.

– 89% off all students across the 10 schools felt that the iPad made learning fun.

– The most common activities that the iPads were used for were the following: Finding Information, Presenting, Communication, and Multimedia.

– The primary students stated that they used the devices outside of the classroom. The secondary students, not so much.

– The iPad as learning tool shone when assisting students with special needs, such as verbal and physical disabilities.

– The iPad assisted students to collaborate with others outside of their class and school setting.

– Students who utilised email as a main way to communicate with teachers also were found to share what they had created to other teachers, not just their own.

So as you have just read… a lot of great outcomes! At the end of the day is the question of “Does the iPad have the capacity to enhance and support student learning?”, in short, YES. Schools, colleges, universities and the like would not be moving towards towards mobile technology if there were no benefits. The money would not be being invested in to this type of technology if it were not worthwhile.

The outcomes of the trial also picked up on several key indicators that need to occur in school settings if new technology integration is to take place successfully. Where all of the above is less likely to be successful is here:

– The divide between primary learning and secondary learning are very real.

– The capacity for cross curriculum teaching needs to be greater.

– The logistical set up and infrastructure of colleges needs to be in place.

– Leadership support and understanding needs to be in place.

– Technical support.

– Parental support and encouragement.

– Students involved and support the use of the device.

As i have already touched upon, there appeared to be a divide as to how the iPads were being used in primary as opposed to secondary settings. Something that came out of the evaluation was that secondary students wanted to be using the device more often in classes. As was discussed, secondary students do follow a different model of teaching than their primary counter parts. Different subjects, different teachers. If those teachers of varied subjects are not onboard, then the iPad as a tool to assist student learning would be hindered.

One key theme that i did notice, that perhaps was not directly mentioned in a lot of detail, yet was a common theme of schools and teachers shifting their thinking away from planning around the device, to rather integrating it in to everyday curriculum. A real positive and in my eyes, how it should be! The device is a tool, not the be all and end all of student learning.

A big day with a lot of information! Hopefully you’ve found some use or relevant information from my ramblings!

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Visit X 2

Screen Shot 2011-12-09 at 7.45.53 AM Screen Shot 2011-12-09 at 7.49.03 AM

This week we had the pleasure of hosting two great schools, both from quite different backgrounds, yet both sharing a common teaching understanding. That being using the power of mobile technology to empower student learning.

Woolsthorpe Primary School and Ballarat Secondary College are both going through the process of  integrating, and already have to an extent, Mobile Technology as a tool to assist student learning. The power that mobile technology brings to the hands of students is extremely rich and relevant in todays world of students who are rely very heavily on technology use.

From what we ourselves have witnessed from being involved in the DEECD iPads for Learning Trial, it was great to share our story and journey with two schools, which as i have said, are very different yet also share that love of technology integration.

When we host visiting schools one thing that is always discussed are the issues that arise from moving away from either traditional technology and towards devices that foster a more personal approach. Issues such as;

– Poor wireless set ups and infrastructure that cannot handle a large amount of wireless devices.

– Either a lack of technical support or not enough.

– iPads being used as a shared device rather than a personal one, hence multiple user issues.

– iPads being seen as a consumption device only and not a powerful creative tool, as they are!

– Hesitation form staff in schools to utilse and learn new technology and embrace what it can do.

– And… as always… costs associated with embedding new the technology.

I am sure that many other schools have similar if not completely different issues that have arisen from implementing iPads in to their settings. Another issue that springs to mind is no volume licensing for applications in Australia, meaning that paid app’s for the ipad need to be purchased once per every device being used. And, if a lot of schools are, looking at managing the devices themselves, then this can be a real, and costly, issue. Another argument as to why i, and my college, support a BYOD model, but that’s a whole another story! 😉

From the many mini discussions had from this weeks visits it was pleasing to hear that both Woolsthorpe, a school of 90 odd (not ‘odd’ as in… different… 😉 kids to Ballarat SC with a little more over 1000, if my dodgy memory serves me correctly, that both were well on the way, with very supportive staff, to implementing iPads as a teaching and learning tool.

Whilst typing this post out the front of the Victorian Arts Centre, wondering where i have to go to attend the iPads for Learning Evaluation day hosted by DEECD, i am greatly looking forward to seeing and hearing the stories from those other schools involved in the trial. Also, to hear the what the independent evaluators have to say about the trial and what they found!

Anyway. I will be sure to keep all posted about the findings of todays meeting/professional learning session. And… I am also very keen to see the continuation of mobile technology integration at Woolsthorpe PS and Ballarat SC and to hear how their journey pans out.


iPads @ ICTEV2011


On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the ICTEV 2011 In Touch Conference!

It is always a great opportunity to attend such conferences to see and hear about all of the exceptional things that other educational settings are doing, especially in relation to ICT. The practices that are shown by educators who have a real passion for integrating many aspects of ICT in to their, and others, teaching and learning programs is a great experience! As an educator there is nothing better than leaving a meaningful Professional Learning Outing with ideas, resources, tricks, hints, tips and examples of things you can do with your own students.


Now as we all know, there is a major shift occurring in the education sector in regards to mobile devices and mobile technology beginning to be embedded in to teaching and learning practices. The release of the iPad and iPod Touch were and still are great editions to a schools IT resources, however, the real shift has been with the release of the iPad and more recently the ipad 2.

I was keen to select my sessions that revolved around mobile technologies and/or other ways of integrating IT practices via these technologies. After reading the presenter lists and what was on offer I was excited to see a few sessions suited what i was wanting.

My first presentation was Presented by Mark Richardson titled ‘Planning and Teaching in Challenged Based Learning Classroom’. CBL is something i have dabbled with in the past and am currently using. I have heard and read a bit about it in the past and was interested to see how Mark went about implementing this inquiry process at his school whilst integrating IT. It was great to see what Mark was discussing and the way he embeds It in to his CBL classes. You can view and download Marks presentation HERE.

iPads in the Prep Classroom was my next session and was hosted by Bev Taylor and Andrew Cock from Mitcham Primary School. They were keen to share with us their iPad Journey so far and how the iPad has been a wonderful addition to their Prep teaching unit. A lot of iPad trials thus far have revolved around middle years/secondary cohorts and it was great to hear about an iPad trial with younger students. Bev and Andrew had some great things to share and the resources they were willing to let the rest of us in on that they had created were very useful. I have attached these great resources below! To see how Prep students were using the ipads to learn how to form correct letter formations and write basic words, also to learn counting processes and the like was fantastic.

MitchamWebsites, MitchamTopApps, MitchamAppSearchTips, MitchamPrepTiPadContract

My last session was with Jenny Ashby, the ICTEV 2011 Teacher of the Year! Jenny’s school, Epsom Primary School, is also part of the DEECD iPads for Learning Trial and is doing some fantastic stuff  in relation to the iPads and embedding them into teaching and learning practices! Jenny’s session titled ‘Learning at the Speed of Need’, was about students using iPads to learn at their own rate through the use of the terrific App’s that are available to them! It was great to see Jenny incorporating a range f App’s to complete one set task, which is an outstanding way to use the iPads for learning purposes. Using Google Maps for example to locate the distances between two major cities, take screen shots of this, locate four towns that one would pass through using Safari, find x amount of facts about those towns, take screen shots of this or a note taking App, and them import these all in to Reel Director or Strip Designer and export as a movie! A task that can be as easy or as difficult as you make it! Even better, let the kids choose their own App’s! The App’s that Jenny also showed us during her session were:

Comic Touch, Photo Gallery, Dropbox, Mail, Keynote, Audio Recorder, Blogpress, Sonic Pics, Duplicam, Mover+, Safari, and Echofon (A Twitter Client).

And finally… It was our turn to present. James (Curtis, our Yr 6 Teacher) and I were to share our iPad Journey and how it had all gone so far. The ups, downs and turn arounds. Most of all though the successes at using such a great piece of mobile technology at our College! We wanted to share the processes also of where we stared and where we were at. James was also to share some great activities he has used with his students and demonstrate just how the iPad can be utilised in a teaching and learning setting with rich and relevant tasks.


We had a great turn out for the session and it was wonderful to share with others what we are doing at our College. There were plenty of questions which came thick and fast throughout the presentation, which was great, and hopefully James and I answered these as best we could! We supplied all the participants of our presentation with an Ipad to use during the session and it was great to see them all checking out the App’s the kids had installed. Even the inappropriate ones!

Our presentation links and resources are below, hopefully you find them useful!

iPadictev2011resourcescorriejames, ICTEV Presentation PDF

It was a great day at the ICTEV 2011 In Touch Conference! It was exceptionally well organised and it was once again great to see the quality of teaching and learning that is occurring throughout the state from such super people!

iPads 4 Learning PL 2011 #2


After my involvement in Thursday’s school visits and rich discussions I was skeptical that Friday’s PL Day could top off the day before! Well… I am pleased to report it did!

As part of the professional learning days we were asked to download certain Applications for our iPads that we would need as part of today’s learning process, these being the Federation Square App, the NGV App, and a Twitter Client (Twitter, Tweetdeck, Echofone, etc…). They proved to become somewhat useful as the day progressed!

The first challenge set for the day was to use the Federation Square Application to find out where on Earth within Fed Square the PL was taking place! All we knew was that we were looking for a place called ‘The Boardroom’??? I am pleased to report that challenge 1 was met successfully! This of course was a simple task but once again highlighted that the use of mobile technologies could assist us in something as simple or complex, as trying to find the location of a meeting place. I could have asked a random stranger, i could have gone to the information booth, or asked one of the store owners, but i did not need to. I had a mobile device which had an App specifically designed for what it was that i needed. And the power of the iPad blossomed once again!

Once all had found their way and we were set to begin the day. There was an sense of excitement coupled with anticipation at hearing our guest speaker in Stephen Heppell (www.heppell.net) (www.cloudlearn.net) share his thoughts on Mobile Technologies and Learning Spaces. I had heard Stephen talk twice before at various conferences and was very much looking forward to his thoughts once again.

A lot of what was said revolved around learning spaces and learning space design and it was excellent to hear what sorts of things Stephen had been involved in all around the world. The images that were shared of learning spaces that had been designed and implimented by students themselves was fantastic. Several of the innovative learning space design ideas that were shared were:

  • where every single surface in the classroom was able to be written on, like frosted glass,
  • a classroom which had fluorescent mood lighting,
  • another learning space which had a Skype Bar, which allowed kids to video chat with others students, anywhere,
  • classrooms which all had LCD Screens used as projectors, which when not in use, where streaming live news from either the BBC or NBC

Following on from the above, it was discussed that the iPad as a mobile learning device works brilliantly in a contemporary learning space. Kids go home at the end of the day and lie on their beds, on the floor, in a bean bag, on the couch, etc… all whilst using their mobile devices. Yet we expect them to come to school and sit, backs straight, in chairs at a table. I can honestly say that i also do the same as these kids when i get home, as well as shoes off, food in the other hand, TV on, and so on…

We then discussed several of the Applications of the iPad which we found to be astonishing. What was discussed was basically any Application which allowed students to CREATE and move away from using the iPad as a substitution to other, non IT devices. We mentioned that just about all music and art applications were brilliant to use with students, especially the recently aded Garage Band for iPad.

We also focused on applications that brought kids together in Collaborative ways. Stephen spoke about how unlike a laptop in which students could hide behind a screen, they cannot do that with an iPad or tablet device. Students could sit and discuss what they were doing and share the device between several people.

As a final thought Stephen left us with an unforgettable comment: Be Astonishing! If we are, then so will our students be. Be creative and be different. Use these great Mobile Devices in ways others would not think of. Have the students create the ways in which are deemed to be innovative! Stephen certainly left us with a lot to think about and digest!


After what was a great morning tea we then moved on to our other guests for the day, Kim and Gawain who were part of the New Media and Virtual Environments Team for the South Australian Department of Education and Children’s Services.

We were told that over in Sth. Aus they were doing similar things in relation to our iPad trial but no where near the scale we are operating on, their focus however, being very similar to our own in looking at how mobile technology impacts on teaching and learning. We had decided the students can have the greatest technology in the world yet it is still the teaching that matters. It is one things for students to be engaged no matter how they are learning and how do we measure this?

Gawain and Kim shared with us what educators in SA were doing in regards to reflecting on their own practice. Teachers are asked to post a 3 min reflective video on their ICT practices and share these reflections with others. We sat through three great reflections by 3 male secondary teachers of Phys Ed, SOSE and Mathematics and how they had attempted to use ICT in their lessons.  I guess i saw this coming… we were about to be asked to do the exact same thing… 😉

Our main challenge for the day was a great one, and one you could easily do with your students!


We were asked to buddy up with another school and complete the following task. We were to use Federation Square and it’s FREE exhibits, namely; the Stormy Weather Art Exhibit, the NGV (National Gallery Victoria), Screen Worlds, and the Federation Story. From these exhibitions we had to find something that resonated with us as either a Melbournian, Victorian or Australian, and then using the afore mentioned places, create… anything… via any Application on the iPad to share back with the rest of the group. The purpose of the Twitter Client was to keep up date with the other groups and complete mini challenges along the way, such as upload a 30sec sound grab of the environment you were in.

After the time we had ran out we then created a small video which linked what we had found in the Stormy Weather Exhibit and how what we’d found resonated with our own school settings. You can see the video that we’d created below! Don’t laugh! We made this via Reel Director as well as using DropBox to share media files amongst iPads.


Our massive day ended with a delicious lunch and at the conclusion of lunch sharing what we’d each created. It was excellent to see what other people, other teachers had created. As educators we spend our days teaching and focusing on students, as we should, but it was great to have the opportunity to be involved in a task that we would expect students to be involved in and complete!

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