Tuesday, October 01, 2013

iPad Sharing Practice - Lomond School

Iain Morrison

Described how school has moved from "mobile classroom" approach to a 1:1 iPad scheme.

Problems with the mobile classroom included the reliability of the laptops and the increasingly lengthy startup times. Guided by discussion with colleagues and research such as the Scotland iPad Evaluation, led to the decision to go for 1:1 iPad rather than Bring Your Own Device. (Importance of sense of ownership seemed important.) there was complete backing from Education and Finance Committees as well as the Board of Governors. Felt it was important not to pass cost on to parents. Was seen as an educational provision, like textbooks and other equipment.

Staff devices were distributed first. Research and discussion made it clear this was important. There were two training sessions per week after school in June. When staff returned after summer, (almost?) all were on board and keen to get the iPads out to pupils. A small group has been formed to help support staff and help drive developments. Also, asked by Socrative to pilot new version of their app.

Improved broadband connection. Created fibre optic link to Junior school. Re-wired internal network. Installed Aerohive wi-fi in all locations. Set up AirWatch Mobile Device Management. Purchased whole school apps through Apple Volume Purchase Program scheme.

They went for latest 16 GB iPads, a Survivor iPad case (seen as important for field use of the iPads) and full accidental loss/theft/damage cover. Still distributing the devices, partly because they waited for iOS 7. (New functionality added with iOS 7 allows things to be done that previously required AirWatch, a Macintosh, or specialist equipment.

Pupils will receive basic training and there will also be a number of iPad Education evenings that will explain how parents can allow certain apps to be downloaded as well as how they can use parental controls etc.

Have not gone for AppleTV yet so still looking at projector connectivity and wi-fi printing.

Going to set up pupil "Apple Genius" group that will run like a lunchtime club.

Delays during the summer. Did not find AirWatch's customer support staff particularly helpful. Underestimated device setup time (small school, only to technical support staff added to difficulty). New iOS release delayed things too.

Using eBackpack to manage workflow through the iPads. Pupils and staff can write on PDFs. Handles submission, grading and return of assignments. Works as ePortfolio as well as Gradebook. (Parents can be given access to gradebook - although that is for future development in Lomond.) It does link with a numb of MIS systems and can export to other systems (such as e1).

What is the plan for refreshing the devices?
Plan to refresh on. 3-4 year program. They decided to buy the iPads outright rather than lease. Will offer the devices for sale to pupils when they leave school.

Location:Edinburgh,United Kingdom

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