“Finally I can unleash the digital me!” was the quote of the week from one of our year 3 students when we launched our 2013 iPad trial.
18 months on - We've expanded our program & we’re ready to share what we've learnt along the way.
What is important to us?
* Nurturing students as creators, not just consumers.
* Using the technology when it enhances learning, not as a time filler.
* Promoting critical thinking & collaborative problem solving.
* Demonstrating that learning is a life-long experience that can be even more fulfilling when shared with others – we’re all teachers & learners.
Implementing new technologies is like the experience of travelling. You’re never able to describe the journey in full, but you can give a taste of what it was like. And sharing with others enriches the experience.
In 2009, Cowandilla Primary School began a journey with mobile technologies in education, using iPod Touches successfully in our Pitjantjatjara language program. The engagement & acceleration of the language learning was dramatic. Students were able to hear authentic voices, practise their own pronunciation & record themselves to compare & gain feedback.
With the release of the iPad in 2010, the potential to expand this learning was immediately obvious to us. However, we didn’t race out & buy devices. We watched, waited, thought & planned.
Our 2013 “iPad Trial” was not conducted in a true academic sense, it was more along the lines of, “Let’s think about this… There are lots of options… Here’s how we can see it working at our site… We’re ready to give it a go!"
We trialled different “models”: Shared devices (Yr 6/7; Yr 5/6/7 New Arrivals Class; Pitjantjatjara Language Class) and 1:1 (Yr 3/4). The commonality was our desire to see how this use of technology could enhance the learning experiences of our students.
In this presentation, a team from our site will share what we believe are strategies for success. We’ll share some of our mobile device learning pedagogy & include examples of how students are becoming critical, engaged thinkers, connecting with others in their learning.
There will be an opportunity for a "techie breakout" session to spend some time with our technician discussing the important background work that makes it all possible.
Our journey continues to be one of purposeful decision making. We’re investing not only in the devices, but more importantly in the pedagogy - giving teachers the support to learn & collaborate. We believe this is enabling us to develop as the practitioners that we aspire to be, and opens new & exciting possibilities for the students we work with.