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.