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elearnmag.acm.org

Hello!

It is with a fair amount of confidence that we can say that 2014 has started off extremely well and at an amazing pace!

Teachers and students have been right in the thick of the action with teaching and learning programs well and truly in full swing, as you would expect. For students involved in our BYOD iPad Program, that being all 620 students in years 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8, we have seen an amazing start to the year with iPad devices being showcased to facilitate and demonstrate teaching and learning programs and initiatives.

The use of mobile technology to cater for individual needs and to support student learning programs in place has certainly sparked creativity, innovation and a desire to showcase learning through the use of the iPad technology.

It has been also great to see students download and use the required iPad Applications to support their learning. As we have cut these down to 15 core applications from at least 60-70 in the past, it is vitally important that students in our Early Years, Middle Years and Support Centre sub schools have these applications. To access the 2014 iPad Application Lists, head to our shared “2014 eLearning Documentation” dropbox folder linked below.

2014 MLP12C eLearning Documentation

Our Year 2 Teaching team have also taken their iPad App usage one step further and developed a new list of ‘must haves’ for their students. This is also located in their shared dropbox folder linked above.

Lastly, we have developed a set of classroom / learning iPad expectations for students in Prep – Yr 2 and 6 – 8. I have also added below our Yr 3 – 5 Classroom Laptop Use expectations also. Teachers are currently using these documents and referring to them constantly to ensure technology integration teaching and learning practices are the best that they can be!

If you have any questions about the above please do not hesitate to leave a comment or contact the College. :)

6-8

iPads in our Classroom Yr P-2

P-2 iPad Classroom Expectations

iPads in our Classroom Yr 6-8

3-5 Classroom Laptop Expectations

Laptops in our Classroom Yr 3-5

Last Wednesday night we held an information session for all our current Prep students parents relating to our 1:1 Prep iPad Program. The reason for this session was to inform parents that the iPad devices that their child had been using for the last term were in fact going to start heading home at the beginning of term 3!

Throughout the second semester last year we trialled this within our 1:1 program to assist and foster greater learning opportunities outside of the college setting, and with great success.

As you will see in the embedded presentation below, the aim of taking the iPad devices home is:

  • To move learning beyond the 4 walls of the classroom
  • To engage parents and carers in their child’s learning via the MLP12C Prep Curriculum
  • For students to develop in their journeys at home via mobile technology use

Parents on the night were very supportive, as they have always been and are, and asked a multitude of questions in how the devices could be used and how they could become greater involved in their child’s learning.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be very much looking forward to seeing how the devices are being used at home.  We’ll be wanting to see also just how the collaboration between college and home can assist learning through mobile technology use!

Yesterday I was able to pull together some time to get about and about amongst our year 1 and year 6 classes to see our 1:1 iPad program in action.

Immediately it was evident that our students and staff have responded to the use of these devices extremely well when integrating them in to teaching and learning programs and support learning.

As these two cohorts are essentially new to 1:1 iPad use, although our year 1 students last year had 1:1 iPad access under a school owned model, I thought it important to touch base with teachers and students in a more informal setting via conducting my own little “learning walk” throughout these areas.

As i mentioned it was immediately evident that the devices were being utilised to support teaching and learning via the following;

  • Students were engaged and on task with their devices
  • Students were given space and responsibility to select how they were to demonstrate their learning. I.e. Choice of app’s and presentation methods.
  • Students were using their devices to reflect on their learning using applications such as Explain Everything and Educreations.
  • Staff were using the devices with both purpose to make the technology use meaningful and assisting not as an add on or extra.
  • Several students were choosing to show their understandings by NOT using their iPads. This falls directly under student choice which we feel is fantastic as kids are not solely relying on their devices to complete work and demonstrate learning outcomes.
  • Students being creative with their devices and moving away from using their iPads as a substitution method to show their work. I.e. Students using the Minecraft and Eden applications to show their understanding!
  • And lastly, classes throughout these cohorts having developed blogs, wiki’s and Google Sites to connect with students in an online setting to share,, connect, collaborate and discuss their happenings!
I have included just a few images of some things that I witnessed below to show you first hand what our teachers and students are up to! :)
Enjoy!

Using the Apple TV and Kanex Connector through a Digital Projector!

The Year 1′s waiting patiently to display their work!

The Kanex ATV Pro Connector in Action.

App Zone!

One app the kids in year 6 and 7 have come to love is Pic Collage. Like a lot of applications that may seem one dimensional, and this is an example, once a bit of creative thought is added, most app’s can be so much more and this is certainly one of them.

Students via this application can create more than just Collage’s of their favourite pics and images. They can use this app in many many ways to support what is being covered in class. Students can take photos of their work and comment on what they have done via the text box function. They can also use the editing options available to them to alter and change the appearance of images taken. Stickers can be added to images as well as being able to change the background look also of what images and text you may be including.

Lastly, as the two creative young lads below have demonstrated, you can use your photo editing skills to really manipulate and alter images! If only the photo below was real… or is it?

We’re always on the hunt for new and exciting applications to use as part of our iPad program.

We’re usually asked quite frequently also where do we find the applications we use? Well, my first response is just about always word of mouth. And that mouth more often than not coming form the students involved in our iPad programs yet also other educators out and about who come across excellent app’s that can be used for learning and teaching purposes.

This morning i came across this great blog post from Edudemic.com, an outstanding online resource for anything and everything education and also technology related.

As the title of the page states, there are 100 excellent applications for iOS devices, mainly ipads, that can be used with your students. App’s that foster creativity and creation as well as app’s that make simple, everyday tasks easier such as note taking and creating flashcards.

This list is well worth a look and tonight during our College’s iPad PLT, we will be investigating our own iPad Application lists to attempt to finalise for 2013!

The 100 Best iOS Apps For Mobile Learning | Edudemic.

Teaming Up!

Today we had a visit from a school that was quite different from those whom we normally have through our doors! A school that is tagged as being Very Remote within Outback Australia and due to the vast landscape of our country, and many isolated communities, you can see via the embedded image below just how remote the Kids and Staff from Alekarenge School are!

As part of a student expedition to Victoria, we were thrilled to have had the 16 students and 4 staff out for a morning for a visit and to buddy up with one of our year 6 classes to be involved in some iPad happenings. Alekarenge have their own iPad integration occurring with a large number of devices spread throughout the school of approximately 150 students and from all reports the kids just love using the technology.

It was amazing to see immediately the NT kids and their willingness to get involved and share stories of their journey down south! I did have to apologise to a few of them about the weather and it was close to 20 degrees colder!

After a short tour of the College we then ran a buddy type of activity involving some of our year 6 students and the Alekarenge kids to complete a very quick iPad Scavenger Hunt, which is available here to download: AlekarengeScavHunt.

The students were involved in taking photos of the College with the iPad Camera, using app’s such as Pic CollagePopplet LiteBamboo Paper and even iDraft to record information, share knowledge, collaborate and create!

Soon enough i’ll place a bit of the Alekarenge kid’s work up here to share!

A huge thank you must go to the Alekarenge staff, especially Aleisha C, for organising the visit and going out of their busy schedule to swing by! It was a great morning and one i know our year 6 kids were, and will be, talking about long after!

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!

So…

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!
Collaborating!

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!

 


After 6 months of seeing our Prep cohort absolutely thrive within the 1:1 iPad program we have running, we;ve decided that it is time for the devices to head to and from school to support the learning occurring at school, at home!

Last Tuesday we held our Prep Information Evening to inform parents that the iPads that their kids have been using will be going home! This was a decision made my the Prep team and myself so as to have parents supporting student learning at home as well as what was being taught at school reinforced. Our Prep Team Leader Sam, and his star studded line up of fellow prep teachers in Elise, Mel, Debbie, Tristane and Rebecca, led this information session and from all reports it was a great success with parents proving to be extremely supportive of our plans.

Below is a short blurb from Sam about the evening as well as the two main documents that were discussed/shown on the night. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Thanks, and now over to Sam.

 

“To commence the sending home of iPads as part of our 1:1 program, teachers in the Prep cohort held an information session for parents. Not only did we want to cover our expectations for usage and care, we also wanted to workshop with parents ways in which the iPads could be used at home to be an integral part of their student’s learning.

One thing we pride ourself on as a team is developing our own resources to use on the iPads, namely in the form of video tutorials and texts. We wanted it to be crystal clear to parents that the ‘answer’ to education is not to ‘chuck’ an iPad into a child’s hand and they come out the other end a genius, but simply that we believe the flow of the iPad going between school and home will more closely link the learning happening at school and that the result would be improved student learning.

The feedback from the sessions was really positive. We were excited parents embraced all aspects of the program, including some we predicted may be more taboo than others, for example using dropbox to share content including student work and photos. Thankfully, they saw the benefit a tool like this can have and were willing to work with us in the development of tools such as this in a school environment.

We are excited about the possibilities mobile learning will bring to our curriculum. I look forward to reporting on these developments in the future.”

 

Prep iPad Trial MOU 2012

 

Hi all, it’s been a while!

I have attached below our updated Prep Application List for our iPads! The Prep staff have been using the iPads extremely well over the last two terms and the benefits that we’ve seen in relation to teaching and learning has been nothing short of outstanding! There will be a full report on this at the beginning of Semester 2.

So please feel free to download the latest App list for our Prep Cohort! You’ll find app’s that relate to a wide range of learning areas to support teaching and learning and cover a range of learning styles also.

We hope that you enjoy the newly added app’s and that you and your setting find them useful!

Thanks.

1-1 iPad App List Prep 2012

 

 

Today our College had the pleasure of hosting Kerry and her staff from Mt. Clear P.S. in the Ballarat region. Their visit was part of their Curriculum day through looking at a range of topics which were heavily teaching and learning orientated, as one would expect from a Curriculum day outing!

The ’20′ strong visit was spent largely visiting classes from Prep through to Year 6 and witnessing the teaching and learning that was taking place. The three main aspects and foci for the day for Mt. Clear’s visit were:

Planning for Open Spaces and Shared Groups / Team Teaching.

Using ICT to Support Learning.

Assessment and Tracking Student Achievement Electronically 

As far as visits to our College go this one was perhaps a lot more in-depth than others that I’ve hosted as there was a far greater focus here than simply iPads being used for educational purposes! In saying this it was great to share all that we were doing as best i could and not focus solely on iPads and technology. As a College it is great to be able to share our story yet also learn from others who are moving towards a similar path in their teaching and learning programs!

There were many questions that came thick and fast, which was great as that is what professional visits are all about. These questions ranged from our planning time as teams and strategies revolving around this to how technology assists us with not only our students but also our teaching. There was a great focus upon Assessment and how we as a college were differentiating for the various learners in out college. We both agreed upon that differentiating is more than developing 3 tasks of varying ability for a particular task. That there needed to be multiple entry and exit points for students to both obviously enter the task and then also exit.

Prep's Hard At It!

I personally would have to say a highlight of the day being the Preps and their amazing ability to navigate their way around an iPad! The work that they were involved in the iPad rotations that were taking place, all of which were literacy focused were outstanding!

So all in all I hope that the crew from Mt. Clear who visited us today got something valuable out of what they saw and that they can perhaps take an idea or two away for use in their own practices!