Tuesday, November 15, 2011

IPad purchase models for schools

Following are examples of different purchase models for deploying iPads with examples of contracts, FAQs and more supplied to students and their families on a 1 to 1 iPad program

School purchased model
Lease Agreement Model
Webb School of Knoxville iPad lease program
Webb School of Knoxville iPad program FAQs

Purchasing Options Model
John Monash Science school provides students/parents with a variety of options for acquiring their iPad, including buy outright a bundled iPad with accessories through an approved supplier, lease or create your own bundle. See the options at their iPad purchasing webpage.

Many Schools are also putting together FAQs for students and parents to make the transition easier:
Green Acres School iPad FAQ

Schools are putting together Booklists of Apps or iBooks for students to purchase for their iPads. John Monash Science School ebooklist

Checklist for Implementation

Lastly, a user contract is only one part of an effective implementation program. Here is a good list of things that you should be looking at before you even get to the purchase agreement stage. Use this as a checklist to make sure that your 1 to 1 implementation goes to plan. Preparing your school for an iPad implementation

Monday, November 7, 2011

Apps for Transition from School to Work

13 Students from 6 schools participated in a produce based learning work experience one day per week over 10 weeks at Aengus Kavanagh Education & Equity Centre Mount Druitt.

This enabled them to engage in a wide range
of tasks including merchandising, packaging of goods, customer service, money handling and an opportunity to use the latest technology and the latest apps from the Learning Exchange to enhance their employability skills.

Students can be seen using an ipad with an App - 'Jungle Time' that tests their ability to tell the time and tell elapsed time using a dial on the screen. This app provided students with different time telling scenarios which is a valuable time management skill and essential employability skill for students to successfully transition from school to work.

Jungle Time ($2.99) is a very interactive App where students can interact with the clock by physically moving the hands around the clock. As you move the clock hands, wherever you stop the App speaks the time to you to confirm the time you have set.

You can personalise your level of learning, learn via a range of activities and personalise the clock face. The same developer also has a Jungle Coins App that is very useful as it has an Australian currency option.

Other Apps useful for Transition skills are the series of Life Skills sampler, Work Skills sampler and Social Skills sampler. More information about the Apps was posted previously at: Personalising Social Skills Learning.

Involving parents with your schools iPad program

Many libraries and educational organisations across the world see the benefits of including your community in understanding how latest technology can enhance learning. A number of libraries have what they call a 'Digital Petting Zoo' where you can go and find out more about the technology, find out what it can do, how to use it and feel comfortable with the technology.

St Patrick's Primary Guildford felt it was important to have parents involvement and understanding about the use of iPads in learning at their school. So recently they organised an event where students at St Patricks got to show parents the opportunities for learning with an Ipad.

Parents were invited to the school hall for an iPad in-service. After a brief introduction about the value of iPads in the classroom parents were able to watch children from all grades using the iPads in a variety of ways. Children demonstrated maths, literacy, logical thinking and music apps to the parents and showed them that they do not just “play” with them but also transfer this into other activities.

The parents were also given the opportunity to use the iPads themselves to explore the apps displayed as well as other apps available. The aim was for parents to enjoy this learning experience and see the huge benefit that iPads have in the classroom.

St Patricks is also exploring the opportunities that using the iPads with Air Display and Apple TV may have to assist in enhancing learning and teaching.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

iPad use in a school for Special Needs - St Gabriels

Earlier this week a group of educators from Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta were privileged to visit St Gabriel's School to see how they were integrating the use of iPads in their students learning. St Gabriel's is an independent Catholic Primary School catering for children with hearing impairment and other special needs such as intellectual disability and autism in the mild to moderate range. Most students had their own iPads purchased by or donated to their families.

What we saw was a wide range of use by
students. Here is some of the Apps and the usage comments:

Doodle buddy - for writing letters
Intro to letters, by Montessorium - teacher says sound of letters, students select and then trace the letter.
Pocket phonics - letters, tracing and sounds
Intro to maths by Montessorium - includes number rods which provides the visual confirmation of number concepts.
Pearl Diver - number concepts, gross motor skills, good for tracking skills too.
Notes app for writing sentences
- okay for typing but print is a little small for kids ‑ Predictive text can be a nuisance ‑ can turn it off in settings.
Pictello ‑ used for student news - creating their own talking book
Proloquo2go - Assistive Communication Device
What we saw was one on one instruction with a student. Teacher had her own iPad too, as well as child.
They were doing a listening task with the student selecting the right word from the image and text choices.
Word lists were created in the app for the student ‑ While it is labour intensive to put words in, it is extremely useful for personalisation of learning. You can drop your own photos into it and they had programmed it for this students holidays as well. Can link word lists with books.

They were using word groups from National geographic magazine and replicating sentences from the book in Proloquo2go. The teacher felt that this App had assisted the student greatly with his comprehension.
It was also used as a diary for parents to know what's been happening at school. My school diary with visuals, eg I played with (photos in photos section), I did ... In religion ‑ Screen shots of any work, art works, etc.

Where did they found out about good Apps?
Aspect, Spectronics, and from their families: a whole community learning together.

Comments on the iPad
The iPad is a lot easier to access than laptop or dedicated devices for eg: dynovox, due to portability and touchscreen features. There are more things you can do with an iPad than a dedicated device. Don't have to read a manual to use it.
Ipad allows easy researching on the internet and Youtube.
Businesses have been happy to donate iPads. Easy to replace if they break.
The advent of Air Display will also help with teachers and students able to project their iPad to a TV wirelessly.
Need to ensure that settings are chosen to stop inadvertent deletion of Apps or in App purchases.
Bluetooth keyboards are useful for some students. However keyboards with built in batteries are better as without batteries it can drain iPad power.

The future
Possibilities of the Pad in the playground for
move about therapies reading communicative intent of students ‑ what other kids are doing ‑ Need to prepare students and families, possible‑ insurance, accessories for carrying the iPads etc.

The iPad is seen as a 'Communication Partner'.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Creating iBooks with Pages

There are so many ways that students can get creative with ebooks that can be then published to iBooks on the iPad. We have touched on this in previous posts.

Creating your own iBooks
Creating iBooks or Ebook Apps

iBooks uses ePub format which is a free and open standard format created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), designed for reflowable content that can be optimized to whatever device is being used to read a book file.

This post highlights some great resources for creating epub documents/books via Pages on a Mac or via devices/software other than on the iPad.

An excellent step by step pdf document 'Using iWork Pages 09 to create ePubfiles' from Charlene Chausis, Adlai E. Stevenson High School.

The ePub template that is recommended by Apple ePub Best Practices Sample Document.

A useful video tutorial on using Pages to create an ePub book:

How to Create ePub ebook Using Pages '09 from Jason Rhode on Vimeo.

An extensive list of links to creating ePub files via a range of sotware in ePub in Classroom