Since there was ample planning time between reserving the iPads and delivery, planning for the students started months ago. Some benefits of starting this project included; having taught each of the 3 subjects before, having great NB curricula to follow, and being a heavy Apple user at home. All of this considered – it should be relatively easy to transform my students’ learning environment into something reminiscent of a futuristic classroom.
I decided the best way to tackle the planning was to ask myself questions:
1. What specific curriculum outcomes will you be covering while the iPads are there?
2. How will student generated content be removed from the iPads?
3. Will I be able to use the SMARTboard functionality with the iPads?
4. How will my students respond to a classroom that has gone from constructivist to almost exclusively a project based learning atmosphere in 24 hours?
5. Are these devices going to enhance, compliment, or completley distract from lesson instruction?
6. Are students going to be receptive to balancing the novelty use of the iPad with the instructional?
7. What happens if one is dropped?
8. And what happens if there is a snow day on the day that the iPad cart was actually supposed to arrive. (Update: this did happen).
Let the adventure begin… albeit a day late. Feel free to leave feedback on any of the above questions.
Back in August of 2010, I attended a technology in education PD in New Brunswick. There, I had the liberty to meet a representative of Apple in Education. He and his colleagues were demonstrating how the iPad2 could be added to our already full instructional arsenal. Armed with my own personal iPad2 in tow, I dove into conversation with a rep about my ideas. Before too long he was figuring out that this “geek” of a teacher would be asking him how to get iPads in his classroom.
That I did. Come to find out, Atlantic Canada has two iPad2 carts available to teachers to loan for a period of one month classroom sessions. Unfortunately, due to the demand, I basically had to reserve them in September for their classroom use by January.
Needless to say, the conversation began, and before too long, I had a confirmation: the iPads would arrive in my classroom January 24th, 2012 for a one month period. The classroom cart would contain 20 wifi enabled iPad2s pre-imaged with the iWork suite and other educational apps.
Now what do I do with them?
This blog will be dedicated to the 30 day trial of implementing this mobile technology in a grade 8 math, science and social studies classroom. They will be used by two classes, using the same lessons, completing the same projects.
As an enrichment project, select, anonymous students will be blogging about their experience as well. Check out what they have to say by clicking on Student POV above.