The Best iPad for Schools article EVER! … and it’s not mine :-(

This article by Edudemic is the best summary of the 5 issues facing iPad rollouts I’ve read to date. But… many school principals I’ve met who NEED to read this wont as it’s 1300 words. And so, here’s my summary for the ‘busy’ Principal.

The 5 most common mistakes many schools are making with iPads:

  1. Focusing on content apps
    Subject-specific apps! Think of a Latin teacher who declared the iPad useless because he couldn’t find a good Latin app. Teachers must focus on a class pedagogy based on Create, Record, Film & Curate. This means general productivity apps like the Camera, Evernote & Explain Everything (iPad Whiteboard recording).
  2. Lack of Teacher Preparation in Classroom Management of iPads
    Yes, PD is important but before handing students iPads, schools sometimes give teachers their own, assuming teacher use in a personal environment will translate to expertise in a work environment, It doesn’t! Have Workflows documented that relate to 21st Century Pedagogy (see point 1) that best utilise the iPads true impact on Student-Centred learning.
  3. Treating the iPad as a computer and expecting it to serve as a laptop.
    Focusing on iPad-versus.-laptop comparisons stifles the ability to see how the iPad facilitates student-centered learning. They bring active learning into the classroom and now cover most class-activity needs but computers will still be required for high-end (Photoshop) work So, put the iPads in the hands of teachers who understand that active learners learn best. iPads are devices meant to compliment computers, not replace them.
  4. Treating iPads like multi-user devices
    iPads were designed as a single-user device and not meant to be shared via carts. Financial constraints have forced many schools to abandon 1:1 aspirations, but sharing them separates the functionality from the user. Schools should be allocating them to a few select pilot classrooms for an entire year. This helps continuity and staff can easily share ideas and experiences relevant to the year-group on question. No travelling carts of iPads! And please explore every financial option to aim for 1:1.
  5. Failure to communicate a compelling answer to “Why iPads?”
    Many school administrators simply fail to communicate to their constituents why they’ve purchased iPads. As a result, many initiatives face resistance from teachers, parents — and even students – who don’t understand why these devices are being introduced into their classrooms. Document the iPad supporting essential skill areas — complex communication, new media literacy, creativity, and self- directed learning. Increasingly a 21st century education is less about place and more about space. Schools that share a common vision for learning, extensive support for teachers in learning to use these new devices, and a willingness to learn from the teachers around the country who have already piloted these tools are much more likely to reap the benefits of their investments in
    There you go busy people – less than 500 words!

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