iPads 4 Learning @ MLP12C

Encouraging Learning Through Mobile Technology Use

Tag: engagement (page 1 of 3)

Out and About…

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!

A few more special guests!

http://www.weetangeraps.act.edu.au/

http://www.fcps.vic.edu.au/

This was another big week at Manor Lakes P-12 College as we had another two wonderful groups of people out visiting our College to discuss all things iPads, 1:1, BYOD and technology integration in general!

There’s certainly been little to no sign of visitors letting up coming to out College and that we feel is a great thing! Being able to share our ‘journey’ with other schools and colleges who are either thinking about, beginning to head down, or are well on their way to implementing 1:1 iPads makes for some very worthwhile professional discussions.

Phil, James and Pam from Weetangera Primary School in the ACT (A big trip down!), were visiting Victoria and a number of school in and around Melbourne to see high quality teaching and learning programs based upon 1:1 technology integration as well as iPads being used to compliment teaching and learning programs, but also as to wether or not these devices can promote student learning outcomes. When Phil asked the question if we feel that iPads have promoted student learning outcomes we feel, quite confidently, that the answer is yet. What our challenge is now is to collect concrete data to prove this claim.

To quote the 2010/11 DEECD iPads for Learning Trial Independant findings;

“DEECD’s 2011 iPads for Learning – In Their Hands trial placed around 650 iPads in ten primary, secondary and special schools. The trial has investigated the capacity of iPads to …

  • increase independent and self-initiated learning among students
  • increase student motivation and active engagement in learning
  • improve teachers’ capacity to plan for and meet individual student needs
  • improve student learning outcomes
  • extend students’ learning beyond the classroom
  • improve parental engagement in learning and strengthen home-school links

 … and found that effective use of iPads can lead to all of these outcomes.” (I&J Management Services, 2011).

Passion Project!

I’d like to thanks Phil, James and Pam for not only their visit but for also their willingness to discuss, ask and share professional practice. A very worthwhile visit i felt for both parties!

On Friday we were lucky enough, for a second time around, to have several staff from Footscray City PS come to our college. Jessie, Emily and Kirsten arrived to view our 1:1 iPad Programs and to witness how our staff utilise these devices to foster student learning outcomes. Like with Weetangera’s visit, this was yet another that i feel proved just as valuable for both parties involved. It’s great to be questioned by our visitors relating to our schools professional practices, mainly around Professional Learning and technology integration. Footscray City are well on their way towards the technology goals they are wanting to achieve and hearing what plans they have for the future, also just like Weetangera PS, i am sure both settings will very shortly become leaders in this area!

 

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!

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!

 

And they’re going home… Finally!


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

 

Our UPDATED Prep iPad App List!

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

 

Mt. Clear PS Visit

 

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!

Stop Motion… with PREPS!

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of presenting with a wonderful colleague of mine, Sam, at the ICTEV Creating Connections Conference 2012. Sam, who is our college’s Prep Team Leader, is known throughout the college for both his high level of teaching ability but also his ability to integrate ICT in to his teaching and learning programs.

The topic of our presentation at ICTEV was titled, ‘Movie making on the iPad, so easy a 5 year old could do it’. Our session involved running participants through how to create simple yet effective movies on the iPad device with just a few simple applications, the main two of these being Doodle Buddy, which is a great free app for image creation, and StoryRobe. This app is an iPhone app however still works great on the iPad device. StoryRobe lets students take photos and create sketches that allow them to sequence, narrate and render films. Photo’s can also be imported from the camera roll and this is where Doddle Buddy is great for that.

The other major component of our session was showcasing and demonstrating the great work our prep’s have been doing in relation to creationg StopMotion Animation pieces! I have asked Sam to write a guest post which is below! I have also added several short videos that the prep’s have completed in class!

Thanks!

 

I’ll never again be surprised by the abilities of five year olds. I probably shouldn’t be already considering some of the amazing things they’ve already done on iPads and their ability to learn so quickly in general, but when I decided to introduce Stop Motion animation this term, I’ve been staggered at how quickly the Preps have picked it up.

I’ve previously used stop motion with year 7 students. It’s a great hands on tool to engage boys and can be easily incorporated into numeracy, literacy and inquiry learning with a small amount of creativity. Generally speaking the kids loved it and self-taught themselves how to do it. All I needed to do was guide them with storyboarding and the odd quality control conversation.

Introducing it to five year olds is a different story. I want them to play with the technique to explore what it can and can’t do and what it looks like when it is done well and when it isn’t done well.

At Manor Lakes we spend the first two sessions on Monday through Thursday in our ‘Investigations’ time, which is based upon the Walker Learning Approach. Here student choice and interests shape the learning environment and although they hadn’t expressed an interest as such, I set up a ‘stop motion’ interest table to see what response I got. Sure enough the lure of using the iPad during investigations (which we normally haven’t) meant it was a popular choice. I chose a pair of students to teach the basics of the iMOTION HD app to, which took about 5 minutes. I then left the students to have a play to see what they would come up with.

Their first attempt wasn’t bad, but there were arms, hands and unwanted camera movement that could all be improved upon. I quizzed the students’ what did they like, what didn’t they like? They had noticed the hand movements . They had noticed it was too quick in places. I was suitably impressed.

The first pair of students made a cute little film of a tower of blocks being built and then vanishing. We showed it to the rest of the grade during reflection time and they loved it. They all wanted a turn. 

My two ‘experts’ then passed on the knowledge by sharing it with a pair of students from our neighboring class. They know are beginning to develop stop motions with blocks, cars and magnetic letters too!

I look forward to our ‘play’ with this animation technique developing into our Preppies developing story-based animations. I’ll be sure not to assume they can’t do it, that’s for sure, but for now I’ll be content knowing what they have already been able to master!  

 

Parent iPad Update – May 2012!

Hi all.

Please find below our Parent update letter which was sent home on a combination of either Friday 11th May and / or Monday 14th May!  This letter basically updates parents of a few of the happenings lately in regards to our 1:1 iPad Program in years 6 and 7!

You can also download this document below as a PDF!

Thanks.

 

1:1 iPads 4 Learning @ MLC

Parent Update – May 2012

Years 6 and 7

May 2012

Dear Parent / Guardian,

This is simply a courtesy letter to inform you of recent happenings and updates in regards to our 1:1 iPad Program in years 6 and 7.

Once again, we’d like to thank you as parents/guardians for your continued and overwhelming support that we as a college have received. Programs like the 1:1 iPad program can only be successful if we have the high support of yourselves in relation to the high quality ICT programs we here at the college run.

It has been great from an ICT Leading Teacher’s point of view to see the students using their devices as tools to assist their learning. The students have been learning and developing new concepts with the assistance of their iPad device and as their teachers will attest, it has certainly been great to witness. 

Like any new programs and initiatives that we as a college undertake, there are always ‘teething’ issues that we encounter. It has been pleasing that with your support we are overcoming these to ensure that the students involved in the program are using their devices correctly during class via demonstrating behaviours that are expected.

We as a college do ask that you as parents / guardians monitor your student’s iPad regularly for inappropriate content. This can come in the form of inappropriate applications, music, movies and images. It is important that you are aware of what your students are doing on their device, especially whilst not at the college.

We have encountered students that have been using applications in class that we as a college deem inappropriate, such as games that contain adult content and violence. If students are witnessed playing these games in class at any stage throughout the day, students will be spoken to and have that particular application deleted. Parents will then be notified of the student’s behaviour.

Very recently we have had several damaged iPad’s come to visit the tech’s at their office, all damages being smashed and cracked iPad screens. Generally, a broken iPad screen will warrant a replacement of that device however we have worked with our Mac Supplier / Repairers to where we can now have screen replaced for a nominal fee. Parents need to ensure that students are looking after their technology to ensure these types of breakages do not occur.

The downloading of new applications and the updating old ones can be quite a taxing experience, especially if application updates are large in their file sizes. Due to this, and more and more schools moving towards iPads and 1:1 Mac devices, DEECD (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development), have placed blockages on downloads from the iTunes store. This obviously affects our college greatly, meaning that download times for applications here at Manor Lakes are ridiculously slow, and may need to occur at home. If teaching staff are wanting students to have a particular application they may be asked to download this at home. In saying this, the size of the application will certainly be taken in to consideration. We will also not be asking students to download paid applications.

In relation to the instalments that are required to be paid for the iPad device for those who purchased through Manor Lakes, the second instalment date has come and gone. Can you please ensure you get this instalment paid a.s.a.p. so as to not have any outstanding payments lingering down the track.

Lastly, our college’s reputation of running effective a 1:1 iPad Program has been gaining steady momentum which is a great thing. It is the students involved in the 1:1 program that are making it the successful venture that it is and the work that they are producing has been of a very high quality. We are having visits weekly from schools and colleges from across the state to see just how our teachers are using iPad’s to assist student learning and how students have been creating outstanding work to demonstrate and reflect what they have learnt.

Remember also, that our 1:1 iPad Blog is up and running and a lot of what we do gets posted for all to see so that we can share our journey with others and learn from the feedback that we receive. The link to this is: http://ipads4learning.global2.vic.edu.au/

If you have any questions about anything that has been mentioned above, or something that has not, please contact your child’s teacher or myself directly via the details below.

Thank you.

iPad Update May 2012

 

Mt. Pleasant PS PL Visit

http://www.mtpleasps.vic.edu.au/

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.

iPads and Science = hand in hand!

Filming their work for reflective and creative purpose!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Collaboration at it's best!

Engagement. A wonderful thing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

iPad PLT – Working Together!

Last night for the first time this year our college began the exciting journey of beginning their PLT’s (Professional Learning Teams). Staff at the college had the option to be part of a PLT that had a select focus on a particular learning area, such as ICT and iPads and hence, this blog post!

Within our PLT we have 6 very dedicated staff who are keen to see iPad and Technology Integration occur on a greater scale and it’s awesome to see that the staf within this select group are from year levels across the college.

Being the first meeting of the year it was important to establish protocols and a direction for the team, to ensure that we had shared understanding and common goals to achieve. To assist us with this process, we were asked to use the attached proforma titled: Translating Values & Purposes into Protocols: Professional Learning Teams

 

PLT Doc.

The discussions that came from this PLT last night happened thick and fast with many ideas flowing as to where we would like to head. The following things were discussed:

– Creating a resource for staff who would like to embed iPad Technology in to their teaching and how best to assist this.

– Creating an Application List which links in with the National Curriculum and what app’s can best support specific learning areas.

– Attending other schools who were running rich iPad 1:1 programs to witness best practice in action and how we could then adapt and implement that in to our own setting.

– Developing a website which support not only our staff but also other across the world in iPad implementation with lesson plans and application ideas. This could then also become a collaborative exercise with other educators from all over adding to the site.

One resource we focused on and discussed was the Contemporary Literacy Research Project that we were involved in throughout 2011. Here is the project explained;

“This Contemporary Literacy Practices of Preps e-book has been developed to showcase the range of learning opportunities possible when digital technologies become an integral part of children’s’ learning and development. The e-book is also a testament to the amazing capabilities of young learners to acquire the necessary digital literacy skills necessary for participation in life. The e-book highlights how technologies can help support sharing, collaboration and communication in and beyond the classroom.

The 63 learning activities featured in this e-book were derived from a 2011 DEECD research project, Contemporary Literacy Practices of Preps involving Prep classes from 20 Victorian Primary schools state-wide.” 

The 63 learning activities that were developed form the schools that were involved are excellent and to be a teacher and have access to this resource is great. Head to the following link and have a look at what was created by the schools involved! Contemporary (Digital) Literacy Practices of Preps e-Books (interactive) 

 

 

So on top of all of this please watch this space! I am sure that what lies ahead of us in relation to assisting not only staff at our college with iPad integration but also all other educators out there with the same thing!

Thank You!

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