A group of teachers met as part of the NEAL network to set up a group with the opportunity to listen, contribute to and map out the purpose and goals of using the i-pad as a tool in classrooms.
Essentially it was about discussing structured, on-the-ground action around the use of these devices.
The variance in the implementation of i-pads across schools is quite astounding, from schools that have made them a compulsory stationary item, to those school like ours who are just dipping their toe in the ocean of possibilities.
The universal message is that there is no question there is student engagement, students want to use this technology. The question is how does it best support our teaching and learning. Is it that the i-pads fit in with our pedagogical model or is it that the pedagogical model is shifting due to new technologies such as the i-pad?
A universal message needs to be that teachers cannot keep it, it needs to be given to students - they will drive the use. Apps are so simple and quick to use....there is not a great number of instructions. My 4 and 6 year old can navigate around an i-pad at home......there are simple routes to access an app, not a whole series of clicks, scrolling up and down with the mouse etc. etc.
The NEAL network group run through Andrew Cowie is a great opportunity for teachers and leaders to get together and share best practice with using i-pads with students and enhancing teaching and learning.