2012-13 is going to be a ground-breaking year for our school district. We’re opening a new high school in our community and it will be the only private school in the county. Based on current student growth and following the trend of enormous interest in computer and mobile technologies by parents, we plan to be the leader in adapting mobile learning in all our high school courses. The blog title above will document our progress and my thoughts as the year unfolds.
We began discussing the possibilities last fall, and I pushed for adaption of a paperless curriculum using tablets. The school administrator, Mr. G, supported this idea and suggested I research options. As time progressed, I could see that more (and friendlier) mobile apps were continuing to emerge, and became convinced that we could implement this as our primary technology tool in classroom pedagogy.
To document our adoption of iPad as the primary learning device for students, I’ve chosen to use Timeglider, a web-based software, where users are allowed to create 5 timelines for free. Upgrade pricing is available.
At this timeline, you can read and follow our current status: iPad Implementation at St. Paul High School It has just begun its development, but I will document our progress.
The following commitment and uses have been finalized:
- each teacher will have an iPad for instruction
- students will be 1:1 with devices that we purchase in bulk and sell to them at discount
- parents and students will make decisions on purchasing mobile networking as an extra cost; Wi-Fi is free and ubiquitous at school
- appropriate apps will be researched and introduced in a lab setting (my instruction) when the school year begins
- faculty is encouraged to explore apps suitable to their course needs and inform me
- students will download and install apps personally and reimbursed from tuition costs
- St Paul’s Moodle CMSwill supplement course content by use of the Moodle app and all course content available online
- digital textbooks will be purchased and installed using iBook, based on teacher request
- teachers are encouraged to use the book module in Moodle to create their own course content through my support
Following these decisions, I created two Google Docs and shared them with faculty. The first, resources and productivity tool options, lists my recommendations and desires. The second, a list of iPad apps I’ve researched, will be installed and student instruction given in my lab courses. Most faculty have begun installing at this point and are exploring. We have had one session to explore the Moodle environment where teachers had a sandbox to use. Our new version is up and course descriptions are written (see bulleted link, above). I’ve had several one-on-one meetings for support.
My feelings are quite anxious at this point as school approaches. I have looked at all aspects of this project and understand how rigorous and stressful for everyone it will be to chart new territory. We’re talking about a paperless, mobile classroom for all courses. We won’t flip instruction, but we will blend it tremendously using the iPad and Moodle. I confess that if this fails, the failure will primarily be mine. I must continue to support and train, which is fun actually, but I must also encourage and motivate. This, I believe, will be my true test.
Check back to follow our progress and if you have already implemented iPads, I would love to hear your comments! You can check out my Mobile resources at this site; feel free to recommend others.