Since last spring our district, Unionville-Chadds Ford, has been exploring BYOD vs. iPads in the classroom. We have debated different tablets, netbooks, and laptops, but have finally settled on using iPads in the middle school. This was a long debate and discussion with over 25 people involved. Recently our administrative team from district office and building visited Apple in Reston,Virginia for a preview of what it would take to have a 1:1 program in place. There is a lot of research to show students engagement and improvement in test scores which impressed the administrators. It looks like we will have some type of iPad infusion for sure at one grade level next year. Our motto is take it slow and be successful.
May I just say that there are three big elements that need to be in place to make this successful 1)a solid device management protocol 2)robust wireless network 3)intensive professional development. If any of these are not included in a long range plan, then it would be very tough to see success. We are considering Casper as the device management application, upgrading the network this school year and a plan for staff development has not been set just yet, but is high on our radar.
After attending an iPad Summit at CAIU in Harrisburg with several colleagues, we were quite excited abut all of the possibilities that a 1:1 would bring to our students. Jim Gates presented several workshops on using the ipads in the classroom and creating epubs to be read in iBooks. Other instructors provided information about how teaching is changing in the elementary schools because of the infusion of technologies into their learning stations. Information was shared about management, inventory and the ever popular VPP. It was a great day of learning, networking and sharing.
I will be blogging our process of the implementation of technology (iPads) and our change in delivery of instruction throughout this school year. Is your school using a 1:1 program? Please leave a comment about your success or struggle to implement more technology in your school.