Staff training completed.
Make no bones about it, the use of the word completed couldn’t be further from the truth. My advice to anyone else undertaking an iPad trial, be more than prepared.
Imagine the most challenging class you have ever had to personalise learning for and double it. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for the vigour with which the staff and students have approached the training at such a busy time. It isn’t the device either. The iPad may have tips and tricks but its intuitive functionality has been embraced successfully.
The challenge lies in the pedagogy.
Exposure to app use, productivity and possible implications has opened up the proverbial can of worms, and it’s fantastic. Over the training period I have had discussions ranging from ‘how could I use this app’ to the effect on behaviour management particularly with the ‘engagement of a focused mind’. The challenge lies in the application, and the variables suggest pedagogy is difficult to qualify.
Whether you subscribe to the device as a consumption, creation or discovery tool, the technology opens the eyes of educators when given time to investigate. The diversity of comments based on subject, age and (dare I say) educational beliefs were tricky to respond to.
Not that I didn’t have my own ideas!
It just feels like the trial has a real chance of success and not because of the new technology. It is the desire of teachers to enhance learning and it is my firm belief that the iPad has sparked a greater interest than any recent learning and teaching stimulants.
So what to do next?
The challenge of pedagogy demands contact time between staff, students and those of us charged with coordinating. A staff and student blog will now be supported by a staff twitter account to encourage daily feedback/debate as well as the built in googleforms and analysis. Every question/suggestion and discussion is valid because of the diversity of subjects, staff and students.
It’s a challenge and it’s not about the technology!
(We are lucky enough to be joined by Ian Wilson (@ian__wilson) for the training programme. An ADE who was superb with students and staff whether helping with functionality or the nuances of an app. Very highly recommended)