Below is a post in reply to some very good questions posed by my DP regarding the thinking behind choosing ipads for our school. The below article brings up some great points of consideration for all schools. We are particularly interested in points 4 and 5 especially the "compelling answer to Why Ipads?"
I also like the idea of drawing all ideas back to the 4Cs - see this link for a summary of the thinking behind Creativity Critical Thinking Collaboration and Communication as 21st Century Skills.
See this link for ideas on how to integrate the 4Cs into planing and curriculum implementation.
The 4Cs in Education
The idea of keeping it as a single user device is interesting as I have read conflicting views on this. On the one hand yes it is designed for the apple user experience, on the other hand our students are good at (and used to) collaborating together to solve problems and don't have the adult baggage of 'owning' the device.
BYOD offers a different perspective on this as students WILL have their own device rather than a class pod. I am not to worried about using it as a multi user device at the moment, even if we think 1:1 is the best way eventually, for now we can only develop our thinking with experience. I guess when/if we have 1:1 then collaboration will occur in different ways, so two people talking as they use and then the whole idea of sharing output through blog/portfolio/websites (which we can develop ahead of 1:1).
I find it difficult to predict best practice in these terms with such a new device. As long as we stick to our Key Competencies and our 21st C aspirations of Critical Thinking, Communication, Creativity and Collaboration (The 4Cs) we will be on the right track. One point is, are we confident that the old fashioned laptops are being used for best practice? I don;t remember too many conversations about this in schools but I would link it to the same issues with any device.
Yes, always a good one, how do you justify to the unconverted? This is a different conversation than to the 'converted'. For me the solution to this is could be three fold
- one provide a succinct vision statement for stakeholders (linked to Key Compentencies)
- two provide regular relevant and excellent examples of learning linked to Key Competencies (use blog, class page and classroom displays)
- three to create up to date info/research/classroom studies based on blogs,twitter links etc that stakeholders can easily access if they want to - if only some people read this then we help connect the stakeholders with the pedagogy, one discussion ata coffee group could spread the word.
Oh and there should be a fourth, teachers need to understand the whole point of it so they can easily talk to any stakeholder and confidently enthuse about their learning decisions on the classroom - this can refer back to the succinct statement.
Sounds easy! I will work on the statement...
Update post - Scott McLeod has already done it! See this excellent YouTube summarising the answer to 'Why IT?" or for my purposes 'Why ipads?"
Also, here is a great clip using Sir Ken Robinson's talk on shifting paradigms in education, I love the use of the visual to illustrate the speech.