iPads offer an alternative to tablets and laptops for schools considering a 1-to-1 approach. On an individual basis, the device holds great potential as a resource and tool for students and teachers but deployment on a school-wide level will require a slightly different approach than a traditional 1-to-1 program. The list below represents a summary of resources for ipads in education that can help with planning and implementation.

Here are some starting points for planning discussions.

1) Recognizing the paradigm shift – iPads and similar mobile devices  are fundamentally different in terms of the interface and app based software. Using the touch interface will challenge the current paradigm of using a mouse and keyboard for word processing, photo editing or even more complex tasks. Because the apps installed are linked to an iTunes account, schools will need to rethink how they deploy software and manage users or abandon traditional network models.

“The perception change will be so deep that it will kill Mac OS X, Windows and Linux as we know them today. At one point during this decade, you will no longer have a billion folders and file icons floating in a virtual desktop. There will be no more baffling setup screens. No more shortcuts to work around limitations and old conventions. These frustrating barriers—built during decades of evolution—are what make normal people hate computers. These barriers have now been obliterated, first by the iPhone and now by the iPad. Everyone will be using computers similar to the iPad.” (Source: Gizmodo)


2) Key Questions – Sam Gliksman’s post “Preparing your school for an iPad implementation” includes a great list of planning considerations such as:

  • Who will manage purchases with Apple’s volume purchasing plan? The VPP grants around a 50% discount on volume app purchases and is legally required if you plan on synchronizing and distributing apps to sets of iPads.
  • How will apps be purchased and distributed? Will you purchase, manage and synchronize to one central account or different accounts?
  • Where will students store and organize their own content? If they cannot take the iPad with them, are you using cloud based storage that will give them content access outside of class? If you’re sharing iPads, you may want to set up a unique email address on each iPad that can be used by students to email and move files.
  • Have you allocated sufficient ongoing time for staff professional development? It’s vital that that faculty have regular sessions where they can learn and exchange experiences with each other.

Pilots

International School of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Warren Apel’s blog posts on the use of iPads

Cedars School of Excellence, Greenock, Scotland

Frasier Speirs’ blog posts about the 1-to1 iPad program

International School of Prague, Czech Republic

Pilot with Pre-K, Grade 1 and Grade 2

Yokohama International School, Japan

Pilot with Kindergarten and Grade 1

Saint Andrew’s School, Savannah, USA

1-to-1 program for Grades 3-12 with students taking the device home

Trinity College Melbourne, Australia

University pilot, launched in August 2010 with roughly 50 students and 20 staff exploring the use of technology in the classroom.

Resources

List of ipad Initiatives

iPad Educators ning

iPads for Education Project Victoria

Education Apps by curriculum area or topic

Policy & Planning

LINK – iPad program policy GFW  School

LINK – iPad 1-1 Planning doc

LINK – Implementation questions

Articles

iPad is the future

The end of the desktop era

iPads for students with disabilities

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