Tuesday, October 01, 2013

IPad Sharing Practice - General Discussion

Why not Android?
Various issues were raised. Ease of use of iPads was one key feature. Maturity of Apps and teaching tools was also cited. Protected nature of iPad environment was also seen as an advantage. Was acknowledged that it is a constantly moving area and that the "best solution today could easily change tomorrow.

Creativity seen as great for lower school but is it valuable to upper school too?
Research a key element of many S5/6 courses and the iPad is very useful in this regard. But is it as effective for creating large dissertations and reports? Is screen and onscreen keyboard too limiting? Various views were expressed most did not see it as a problem but a minority remained unconvinced.

Tools for teachers?
The 3sys browser based tool was recommended. Also mentioned was Rover to give access to Flash content.

Does 1:1 undermine collaborative work?
Some evidence (from Preston Lodge?) that their devices were used by pupils to create study and self organised support groups. Major advantage of 1:1 is the personal nature of the device. Instead of a school resource sitting unused in a cupboard at weekends and holidays, pupils can make much better use of the technology. Also, acknowledges the pupils are lifelong learners and reflects reality of the world in which they are growing up.

Technical issues?
Evidence shows 1:1 devices are damaged less often perhaps because of the sense of ownership. Importance of good case (Griffin Survivor seen as a must for pupils) emphasised. High School of Dundee reported no technical problems at all with their iPads. Some issues with AppleTV but seems to have been ironed out with latest version and iOS.

Interactive Whiteboards?
Argued that iPad and 1:1 was more interactive than IWBs.

Networking Issues?
Tablets have simplified the process of using computers - when you use the app, the iPad becomes the app. The same is not true for networking! {Still a black art! -- DDM}

Initially many schools are locking it down on the principle that it is easier to open later rather than to tighten things up after leaving things open.

Device Management Software
Was suggested it might be better to have different profiles for different groups (e.g. one for each year group) although it was acknowledged this does added to admin load. Stewart's Melville want to use AirWatch and a web based login system which sets up device. They see the devices as personal and therefore give the user as much control as possible. High School of Dundee has added the restriction that only age appropriate content can be downloaded but not restricted otherwise. Normal filtering on network when in school but not restricted when used at home as that is seen as parental responsibility.

Don't focus on an app - focus on the function!

How do you get an overview of a years work of there is no "jotter" of work?ePortfolio tools still being investigated. Teacher record keeping perhaps more important.

What happens if they forget their iPads?
What happens when a pupil forgets a textbook? Schools where it is in use found it is not an issue - they forget books, but they don't forget their iPads! Also, no problem about them not being charged!


A.G. Pate said...

Some very interesting points here. I wonder if, for evidence, online shared folders could be used? Is there a place for Dropbox? For example, the teacher could have a folder shared with each child. Or Moodle? (Uploading to Moodle on an iPad is a nightmare, tbh).

The 1:1 discussion is very interesting, particularly the comments about ownership.

David said...

Thank you for the comment Mr Pate and sorry it has taken so long to get around to replying.

Dropbox is great for for storing stuff and moving data between apps but I'm not sure about using it for pupils submitting work. We are looking at Shobie for that sort of thing. It looks promising but I've yet to use it with a class. I may post here once I've given it a proper go.

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