I had the great pleasure this afternoon of heading out to one of our schools and chatting with the staff about the possible use of iPads in their school for 2010.
It was refreshing and energising to see the interest generated and to listen to the insightful comments and questions asked by the staff and prompted from the ICT coordinator. This school has a great vision of ICT use and is forcefully pushing itself ahead of the pack in terms of true and authentic ICT integration. The school was the first in our system to implement a one to one laptop scheme in primary school and will now be the first to look at how to integrate iPads in the early years classrooms.
This afternoon was a chat about the apps (click here for list of apps) that may be used in the younger years and how these can be expanded to cater for literacy groups, individuals, differentiation and children with special needs. The staff were very receptive and it is a credit to the leadership that they are so open minded to new technologies, even as early adopters.
The school is using a multi-tiered approach and starting with 12 iPads this term for teachers to use and investigate. After this trial the issues will be analyzed and solutions proposed.
At this stage they are hoping to have a set of iPads for each year level from Pre-Primary to year three. Year level teachers will be responsible for creating a library, loading apps and syncing the machines from their laptops.
This carefully structured, planned and measured way of introducing new technologies is likely to be well received and ensure success with the initiative. Leadership is key to any success and the wonderful blend of passion from the ICT coordinator and support from the Principal ensures that staff are on board with the initiative and the hardware, infrastructure and people are all working together.
I look forward to watching and reporting on the progress of the initiative.