Last Friday we held the kickoff meeting for our iPods in the Classroom project.
The meeting provided an opportunity to bring teachers, administrators and central staff together to talk about the purpose of the project, complete some initial training, look at logistics and set next steps and timelines in place. The purpose of this project is multifaceted. Our comprehensive approach will:
- Investigate the impact on teaching preparation, roles and instruction in a setting where each student will have a wifi enabled mobile device
- Use iPods as an integrated learning tool in alignment with our identified instructional strategies and high yield tools
- Align the use of the mobile devices to technology integration frameworks including:
- Infuse a Digital Citizenship component concerning appropriate use, expectations, responsibilities and security with an eye to aligning to our existing Acceptable Use Procedure
- Learn about the logistics of using mobile devices: charging, syncing, content management, device reliability etc.
- Look at the use related resources: video cables (iPod to TV/data projector), document cameras, listening centre hardware (linking and daisy chaining audio)
- Support the professional learning with research based evidence of the impact on student engagement, learning improvement and student assessment
The selected schools will provide an opportunity to examine the use of the iPod in the following environments:
- a technology focused JK-6 school
- a JK-8 school with an emphasis on grades 6-8
- a congregated enrichment class
The day provided a good opportunity to familiarize staff with the operation of the iPod Touch units and explore some of the potential applications to be used. Alignment with our Board’s key learning strategies and the technology frameworks will keep us away from using the ‘drill and kill’ style applications.
A highlight in the training was conferencing in an Apple Education Expert to instruct over our Adobe Connect web conferencing system, licensed for use in Ontario schools. We anticipate using the web conferencing throughout the project to facilitate sharing between teachers at the selected schools. I am hopeful we can establish a protocol to use the conferencing to facilitate viewing a live ‘model classroom’ environment once the appropriate understandings re privacy and protocols have been put in place.
It was a great day and we are excited to have this initiative moving forward. I will share what we learn in future blog posts.