Can you hear my excitement already? You read that right…we are going 1:1 with iPads in all of our preschool through 5th grade classrooms in our elementary school.
Since I have learned from so many other blogs about integrating technology I plan to share our learning here, but also hope to get input from others on questions that we have.
Here’s what led up to this 1:1 decision:
We are a small district with preK-12 all in one building, which allows us to share technology even though we still function as separate schools in our three separated wings. Over the years we have continued to add technology: each building level has a computer lab and every classroom has a SMARTBoard. This past year we added several carts of devices: Lenovo laptops, netbook minis, Macbook Airs and iPads. This allowed classrooms the opportunity to try out different devices and explore with what device was preferred if we should go 1:1.
Our District Tech Team put in a lot of work this year exploring schools that have gone 1:1 to see what works, what didn’t, etc. They surveyed all staff and all students K-12, using the results to determine that in our district, the best place to start implementing 1:1 would be in our elementary (we did find other districts that started with the high school). This team developed a 3 year plan that ends with our district being 1:1 in every grade. The tech team presented to the school board a couple of different times to build their understanding of this initiative, which led to a unanimous vote for the purchase of the iPads for the elementary next year. Right after this decision was made, we began sharing information on our website for our parents/community to see, which can be found HERE.
So, now that the decision was made, what’s next? Well, our tech people have been working like mad to get this large iPad order ready, along with the admin team planning when to bring in the Apple certified trainers. With any new initiative, the support must be there so we have decided to budget for training from Apple. We also had a logistical meeting with the elementary teachers to discuss how apps will be loaded, how ipads will be stored, etc. Here are some of those logistical details:
Each classroom will have an Ergatron charging case.
- Each iPad will have Otterbox cases
- iPads will initially be set up with apps by grade level as requested by the grade level team
- Teachers will have full access to make their teacher iPad their own (this year they had department ipads all with the same apple account so they couldn’t individualize them)
- As additional apps are requested they will be added to what will basically be our school App Store, which will be created using Casper Software.
- Additional wifi access points are being put into every classroom so that we have enough bandwidth for all of the additional devices.
- Every classroom will have an Apple TV to be able to project from any iPad to the SMARTBoard.
I think that’s it for logistics. My next post will be on how can I support my teachers to transform instruction with these new iPads?
If your school or classroom has gone 1:1 are there any logistical issues that you encountered that we should know about? Please share if you do!
Edited to add:
Someone on Twitter asked me if students will be taking the iPads home with them? We have decided that at least for the beginning of this 3 year initiative students will not be bringing them home. A major reason for this is that our K-12 students all ride the same buses home so we were concerned about middle/high school students knowing that our students had iPads in their backpacks and if this could potentially cause theft issues.
This blog post is cross-posted from PrincipalJ.net