Yesterday we held an e-learning staff meeting and went over some feedback that had been solicited from staff about how they were going with their iPads. It has been ten weeks now since they were deployed. There was a lot of very positive feedback and a few queries that were dealt with at the meeting.
Brian, our principal, showed everyone how to find eTAP, our student management system, on Safari and then save it onto their home screen. He then made everyone's day by handing out $20 iTunes cards.
Several teachers had asked for more help sessions so we will run three more of these this term. A good suggestion from the iPad feedback was to create a Google Doc for sharing ideas about what apps are working and what teachers are doing with them. Andrea, our head of e-learning, has set this up and we spent a bit of time adding to it.
Andrea and I wanted to share a practical example of how to use some apps so we recreated a session we attended at the Mobile Devices in Classrooms conference earlier this year. We asked the teachers to draw three scenes from a fairy tale and connect them to show a story. The apps we used were "Draw Free for iPad" and "Popplet Lite". Here is the instruction sheet (although I couldn't add the pictures on the day as my mail wasn't working from my iPad so this is the better version).
The session went well. The teachers did things like use the stickers and change the background in Draw Free, which we hadn't mentioned because we wanted to keep it simple. Drawing three scenes was probably a bit ambitious due to the time constraints but it was good to see everyone having a go.
To finish the exercise Andrea asked everyone to get together in groups and come up with ideas about how the apps could be used in the classroom. There was a great range from P.E. to Maori and everything in between. Hopefully we will see some examples coming through on the shared Google Doc.