Sunday, February 24, 2013

The iPad Initiative for 2013-2014 ... PBL in Action

The Apple iPad ... What is it good for?

With so many technologies, devices, and apps out there, are they educational? Which is best for us? Windows 8? Android? BlackBerry? Apple? These are the sort of questions that not only parents ask, but educators ask these very questions too. There are so many amazing new technological advances, devices of incredible ability, and fantastic educational apps out there, there’s no limit to the learning possibilities at your fingertips. Yet, reality is such that affordability and long-term use is a very real dilemma faced in education. The iPad has gotten bigger (well, actually smaller) and better over the years, and it will continue to do so. Our view is that it is the way to go.
For 2013-2014, we are planning to undertake a daring initiative - The iPads for Teaching and Learning Initiative. Our school-wide project will examine the impact iPads have on our students’ learning at home and at school, as well as the impact iPads have on our teachers' learning and how iPads can benefit and transform teaching practice.
This initiative will build on the existing evidence that states "engaging and innovative learning environments are needed to connect with today’s students and equip them for tomorrow’s world." The iPads for Teaching and Learning Initiative will help bridge the gap between the technology used by teachers and students alike in day-to-day life and that used in schools. We're proud to say that at our school, this gap is closing - check out our Student Computer Lounge and the technology that exists there!

You can visit the various links below to see how we're thinking and the direction we're taking with tablets in the classroom.

This is a wonderful site that starts out very simple and easy-to-follow. It then allows the reader to dig down deeper into the uses and functionalities of the iPad. Fantastic start!

iPad - Why? How?

iPad inspires creativity and hands-on learning with features you won’t find in any other educational tool — on a device that students really want to use and they intuitively know how to use. Students engage with content in interactive ways, find information in an instant and access an entire library wherever they go. It helps them to go where they want to go and learn what they want to learn and do it whenever they want ... self-directed, if you will!
Apple in Education

Here at Epiphany, we will be exploring the possibility and feasibility around the use of the iPad. The iPad will not replace our desktop PCs, nor will it take the place of our laptops and netbooks - the iPad will be another further enhancement to our current technological arsenal and we truly believe the iPad "will transform how teachers teach and students learn". The process of upgrading and keeping up to the times is not easy and it is always frightening to invest so much time and money in technology that is changing in leaps and bounds and so quickly too. To commit large amounts of money to passing fads is not the way to go. So, we're looking at iPads - they're with us and will be for a long time.

Engaging our teachers and students in various technologies is an opportunity worth taking. With a vision, sound pedagogy, understanding the 21st century student and teacher, and with solid school board, community, and corporate partnerships, this process will be exciting, authentic, and enriching for all stakeholders. Together, we will all continue to grow, teach, and learn from one another and from others around the world - that's the power of the iPad ... the world is your classroom now!

Take a look at some of the more popular apps for learning. Apple (Canada) in Education provides a taste for what is offered in the apps arena:

Apps in Education for iPads

Explore a collection of video tutorials, classroom guides, and web pages for educators:

Apple in Education Resources

A Guide for using the iPad for K-12 teaching and learning:

Getting Started with Apple iPads in the School

View topics, resources, and contact information ... how to use your iPad:

iPad Support

Great sites to check out if you're using an iPad right now or you're just getting started ...

iLearn- Ideas For Using The iPad in the Classroom

Five Great Ideas for Using iPads in the Classroom

The Victoria Govt (Australia) iPads for Learning Website

A Few Education Apps to Get You Started

Gallery of Photos and Videos using the iPad

In a recent article, How the iPad Can Transform Classrooms, Ben Johnson (no, not the Canadian track and field runner) raises awareness of the difference between using the iPad as a way to teach students versus the iPad as a tool to learn for students. He says in the article, "The lesson planning questions I hope my teachers will learn to ask will change from 'How can I teach this content?' to, 'How can I get students to learn this content?' I hope they will answer this question with open-ended learning activities rather than saying, 'I have an app for that'.”

He calls for the paradigm shift in seeing the iPad as a "TOOL TO THINK WITH"

Sure, there may be some useful apps that help the student gain the skills, knowledge or insight into the subject, but our goal here at Epiphany is to utilize the iPad to one day empower our teachers and students to be collaborative contributors, creative thinkers, caring and responsible citizens, effective communicators, and self-directed life-long learners — in short, we want the iPad to be another "learning and thinking tool” for our teachers and students. Check out these websites and blogs that utilize the iPad as a thinking and learning tool.

iPad Resources for the Classroom (Blog)

50 Resources for iPad Uses in the Classroom

Transforming Teaching & Learning with iPads (Blog)

Using iPads to Enhance Teaching and Learning

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