iPads in Schools: Interview with an iPad Coach Part 2
last blog, I interviewed Dawn Hallett, iPad Coach at Warringa Park School in Melbourne, Australia. As
you will soon learn from Dawn's experience, it takes a considerable amount of
planning, training, and support to ensure the successful use of this new
technology. Here is Part 2 of my interview with Dawn.
What is your school doing to train and provide ongoing support to staff?
An essential part of my role is to provide training for my staff. I provide
professional development on the basics of the iPad itself. We also encourage
teachers to provide a workshop based around an application they are currently
using. This happens every Thursday after school.
my official title is ‘iPad Coach,' I operate as a teaching and learning coach,
with a focus on technology. I work alongside teachers for a term at a time.
Together, we identify the level each student is working at, plan activities to
enable the student to progress onto the next level and identify opportunities
for using the iPad to support these activities. I will then model some lessons
that integrate the iPad and provide support to my colleagues with further
How does your school ensure the iPads are being used for educational purposes?
Dawn: This is an expectation when teachers sign up for an iPad. As we don't download applications unless they are educational, our students are only able to use the iPad for educational purposes, even if they don't stay working on the app the teacher wants them to!
How are apps purchased and distributed?
Each student is provided with an iTunes gift card. At the start, this was $50.
The teachers are then provided with a list of suggested applications that total
the amount and are asked to download these applications onto each iPad. For
some older students, we quickly learned that some needed the restrictions
applied, as Justin Bieber had been downloaded "accidentally" onto one iPad! But
this has been part of the learning process for us.
teachers plan at the end of each term for the following term, they identify
applications that will fit with their topic and are then given vouchers that
total the required amount. It is more beneficial to use iTunes vouchers, as
there are always special offers, for example, buying $50 for $40. However, if a
teacher desperately needs an app, our IT Manager will gift it to them.
in the comment section how your school is using iPads and the success and/or challenges
you have encountered!