There’s no doubt about it, the iPad is a desirable product. Now the new staff have one it is clear excitement and enthusiasm abound. Despite initial resistance and concern, staff have already asked for increased support and content.
This is a short post to highlight anything we have learned over the past three months relating to staff engagement.
- Allow staff to see iPad’s in use with students over a long period of time
- Make it a voluntary trial
- Target students for training and allow staff to catch up as they see fit
- Offer support as often as possible and again ensure it is voluntary
- Have an email support dedicated to helping with use (encourages email on iPad)
- Email ‘how to’ links for desired functionality and apps
- Build up a bank of resources to help with understanding pedagogy and implications – Evernote really helped here
- Remember the device is not intuitive if there has been no exposure to touchscreen technology.
- Wireless network is first financial consideration
- Increase budget for Apple support – wireless/proxy-server issues/account set-up and trouble-shooting servers
- Demonstrate iPad enhancing learning to SLT and governors very early in process
- Socrative and ExplainEverything are perfect for initial presentation
- Prepare for any question as new technology is intimidating for some staff
- Smile and nod towards any sceptics!
- If in doubt ask your PLN – you know who you are – and thank you
There is a real difference between witnessing students in your own class engaging with technology and explaining this to colleagues. Where possible staff need to observe the technology in use and this is difficult to make time for. Failing this any students need to be comfortable with the learning styles as sceptical staff will inevitably ask their opinion.
There are so many applications that lead teachers/departments must be consistent with use and encourage students to use appropriate language in relation to their learning. The link between the technology and learning is difficult for some and students can be pivotal in changing opinion.
The next two weeks will allow staff to discover new applications and possible uses for the iPad. It will be interesting to see if the term ‘guided discovery’ relates to staff learning.
Next step – two days training with Ian Wilson (iPads in Education) for staff and students involved in the trial.