Tips 2012 Professional Learning #12: Teckie Brekie

I am enjoying my visit to a new school in Perth.This  school has embraced the use of technology to transform teaching and learning from day one.  The design of the school encourages collaborative learning with glass walled classrooms and communal learning spaces.  The timetable has been designed to allow space and time for students to engage in deep learning. Students have longer blocks of time to work on cross curricular projects exploring “Big Ideas” using an inquiry based approach.

Mobile touch tablets are used as the base technology. This was introduced to the community through information sessions with parents and students.  This school has recommended that schools work with parents to set up individual iTunes accounts managed by the parents.  Students agree to a digital use policy.

Posters and e-pubs were used to distribute information on policy and use within the school. The school created resources to guide parents, and these resources contain everything parents need to know about using the device at school and at home.

The school gave instructions on how students need to set up the device to promote learning. Specific instructions were given to students on how to set their up the pages on each screen and a number of essential apps were recommended. These were arranged in folders according to learning areas and function.

Digital learning spaces have been created using Edmodo, a free online learning space which presents in format like Facebook, but is specifically designed for teaching and learning. This is safe and is password protected. The teacher has control over what is posted. All students in the class can share resources and post their work.

Students use the devices to create visual collections to display their learning in a visual way. Skype and FaceTime are used to link the class to community experts and to students in other classes. This way of learning uses technology to transform traditional learning experiences, extending the learning beyond the four walls of the classroom.

Tips2012: Funding applications for purchasing iPads

Today I have been advising some schools as they are writing grant applications for funding for iPad projects. Applying for funding can be very competitive;

Here are some tips:

1) State your case very clearly – Why should your project be funded?

  • Explain the problem or challenge in your school that you want to address.
  • Try to include some figures “30% of our students …”

2) State the aims and intended outcomes for the project.

  • Support your claims by referring to educational research.
  • Give an indication of how you will measure progress.

3) Explain how the iPads will help you to reach the outcome.

  • Describe in detail how you will use them in the classroom.
  • Justify why you need to purchase these devices.

4) Remember to include the costs of staff PD, iPad covers, iTunes vouchers for the apps (one per device), VGA connectors and a stylus.

Good luck with your application.
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