Part of a series of summaries of the talks I’m attending at IATEFL Liverpool 2013. Please feel free to add things or correct me if I’ve misinterpreted anything!
These are the main points from Victoria Boobyer’s talk, taken from my tweets.
Which device are you going to use? Smartphones or tablets? Which OS will you use? Bring-your-own or provided?
With the OS, you have to make sure that the app you’re teaching is compatible with both.
Victoria’s school chose iPads. The first question they then addressed was security. How can you avoid stealing and keep them safe?
Stealing physical iPads is the first issue- put a lock on the door of the room with the ipads in! Download ‘find my ipad’ to keep track of them. Another security idea: get the back of the Ipad etched with the name of the school.
Set restrictions on the device so students can’t get to certain things, like iTunes, to avoid accidental spending.
Get a sturdy case to keep the ipads safe. The ones @elt_pics have cost £11. Ask over 18s to sign a contract of use – it makes them realise it’s not a toy.
Maintenance: you need to routinely clean up the system: delete photos, documents, links. It takes about an hour for @elt_pics to do maintenance for 16 iPads each week. Consider how/when/where it’s charged and updated. Think about which new apps you want to download and how much they will cost. Think about who’s going to do all of this.
To charge all of the ipads, get a multi-socket adapter and use the normal chargers. Teachers can take the top one and the uncharged one is put at the bottom of the pile.
Once you’ve set it all up, ongoing teacher training is necessary. Teachers can be scared to use them. Check the level of IT literacy of the staff. Make sure everyone feels comfortable with the tech. Peer training best. Talk to the dealer you buy the tech from. They may be happy to provide training too. Initial training: give teachers a checklist and encourage them to play. Then meet once a week for 20 minutes.
Having ipads in the school has kept teachers on their toes, added to student engagement, and is good publicity.
Get regular feedback from students and teachers on how the tech is working: surveymonkey and facebook are great. Keep everyone in the loop.
The ISI inspection last month was impressed by “effective use” of ipads by students at Anglo-European school.
She showed us an imovie project students made using iPads – recording a poem and adding pictures – excellent!
Another example of student work: a comic made with the PhotoComic app. Photos from reader, students predict story.
Neil McMahon includes some comments on Victoria’s talk in his post about day 1 of the conference.