Saturday, August 25, 2012

School iPad Deployment

School iPad Deployment - Were thinking about buying iPads for school but where do I start?
A teacher friend of mine asked me recently if I was able to advise them on producing a road-map document to assist their school who are looking to deploy c. 800 iPads/ iTouch to their students.

There is so much information online today to support exactly this, some of the best advice coming from teachers directly involved in the implementation process.
Things to think about:

Components to support the planning of a 1-to-1 iPad program

1. Mission/Vision 
Mission statement, goals, strategic plan or process for building.
2. Strategic Planning Team
Team composition, roles, decision-making process
3. Deployment Planning
Project timelines, calendars - for launch or expansion from cart, shared, or pilot to student-owned or 1-to-1
4. Financing, Funding
Lease vs buy comparison
Planning for sustained funding sources
Warranty or insurance agreements/policies
5. Community Engagement
Communications plans or templates, or sites sharing happenings, including to governors or parents
Press releases
Acceptable user policies, parental or student agreements
6. Content, Instruction
Curricular plans or school-level strategies leveraging iPad + content ecosystem in exciting ways
7. Measurement
Plans for assessing initiative, including what and how you are measuring

After a quick trawl online I would recommend reading the following blogs - all packed full of relevant issues and solutions.
If you want to get a good ROI its worth spending time exploring the issues and logistics. Make sure you do the research before you buy any mobile devices.  When you get the right infrastructure in place you can start as you mean to go on - happy bedtime reading!

10 things to consider before introducing iPads to your classroom

Friendly Guide to Deploying iPads

Creating Lifelong Learners

iPad Deployment

iPad Project

iPod User Group

iPad Academy

Longfield Academy Kent, UK - iPad implementation

5 Reasons why Tablet rollouts can fail

Top 10 tips for personalised learning

Friday, August 24, 2012

Orbit Early Years App

The Orbit Early Years App is new technology that makes life easier for early years practitioners and allows sharing of information for the benefit of children*.
Orbit Early Years makes it easy for practitioners to:
  • observations iconCollect observations of each child
  • assessments iconAssess learning in line with the 2012 EYFS Framework
  • album iconCreate a personalised album of each child's experiences
  • postcards iconConnect with each child's family
When used in conjunction with Orbit Family, Orbit Early Years makes communication with parents easier. It keeps families updated with their child's learning and achievements, whilst also giving practitioners the means to incorporate home learning activities into their own assessments.
Orbit software helps practitioners and providers protect children's information. The Orbit Safeguarding document provides you with information about the importance Orbit places on maintaining children's records securely, which you can share with colleagues, parents and other interested parties (such as OFSTED).
As well as this website, the Orbit Early Years App for iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad® is now available on the App Store℠.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Make a list of your Apps -

This App is a little gem, especially for the ICT Coordinator or indeed anybody needing to manage an iPad roll-out in school. enables sharing of all your iPad Apps as a list, with colleagues, parents of your students, community, friends or family. is a free scanning tool, with no account or registration required.  
Simply download the scanner and set it running on your iTunes management computer, whether its mac or PC.  the scanner provides you with a link to your personal app list which you can then share with others, including via Facebook or Twitter.

Pretty nifty! I can see it being a really useful tool in schools..... Click here to get started now!

Apps for Teachers on iTunes

For teachers using the iPad in the classroom, one of the hardest things is knowing where to find the best Apps.

There are lots of excellent education blogs out there which are really useful, but you do need time to find them and then read them!

The iTunes App store has also begun the process of categorising Apps for various educational purposes, called Apps for Teachers and includes the following categories:
  • Classroom tasks
  • Curricula Support
  • Instructional Tools
  • Personal Organisation
  • Reference
Click here for Apps for Teachers