Exploring the use of iPads and mobile devices in education.
Thought I would share a little about our iPad programme. Further details of our programme can be found on our iPad portal: http://ipad.redlands.qld.edu.au/
A Little background:
Redlands College has sought to incorporate information communication technologies (ICT) in learning in a meaningful, responsible and cost effective manner. In recent years, the number of computers available to students has increased and we have reached a point where, to realise the benefits of 21st century learning technologies, 1-to-1 access to ICT is the crucial next step.
For us the Apple iPad is an innovative, new form of ICT that is particularly well suited to 1-to-1 learning environments. Its compact design, long battery life, accessibility, ease of use and functionality make it an ideal tool to facilitate learning in an information-rich environment. In essence, the iPad is the ideal device for anywhere anytime learning.
Details of our iPad programme can be found on our iPad portal: http://ipad.redlands.qld.edu.au/
Redlands iPad Programme
At the beginning of 2011 we rolled out our iPad programme to all students in years 9 and 11 and the corresponding teaching staff. A bank of 20 iPads for students in our Junior school- prep to 5 was also implemented. We have approx. 410 iPads in use at the college, covering all the year 9 and 11 students and their teachers, as well as the bank of 20 laptops in the junior school.
When the students received their iPad at the beginning 2011, they were asked to take responsibility for it. They have permission to customise the device and add their own content and apps, if they wish. Students are required to use their iPad in accord with school rules and parents’ expectations. To this point, students have risen to the challenge - none of the iPads have been lost and less than 1.3% of them have been damaged, which is amazingly low for a 1:1 technology deployment.
In 2012, all students in Years 9 to 12 will have an iPad as the core Information Communication Technology (ICT) to support learning at school and home.
Bookable sets of iPads, along with laptop computers, will be available in Prep to Year 8. Subjects with specialist ICT requirements will have access to technologies designed to address specific learning requirements.
Impact of iPad on Teaching and Learning
With iPads, students have opportunities to develop the skills required to succeed in a technology rich post-school environment. Some of the ways we have achieved this include:
1:1 iPad integration
A potential issue with 1:1 technology integration is that educators end up using technology simply because it is available, expected, or imposed upon them. As a result technology integration has, in some cases, been impromptu, ad-hoc and driven more by the accordance of technology rather than the demands of pedagogy and subject matter.
The iPad represent a disruptive innovation, in other words they make us rethink and question why and how we do things. Disruptions trigger change and this can make us uncomfortable (in different ways and at various levels). This type of disruption, we believe, allows genuine pedagogical change to take place. This Pedagogical change is evidenced in changed behaviour and gained by opportunities to become aware, observe, practice, reflect and redefine.
iPads are different which means they facilitate innovation/change by:
To date, the presence of technology such as the iPad has started to change the dynamics of the classroom at Redlands College with new opportunities for positive student engagement and independence in learning. There has also been a noted change to teamwork patterns, amount of teacher and student interactions, particularly online communication as well as movement around the room. This has been facilitated by careful planning, experimentation and time management.
ICT in Learning Coordinator