Student learning at YIS needs to be authentic, relevant and engaging. When we see our students using mobile devices on a regular basis, we know that is a major part of their lives. We aim to take advantage of advances in technology, enabling students to learn with technology the way they live with technology. By using these more personal or social tools in an academic setting, we are also giving students and teachers necessary life skills.
In year 4 (2014/2015) of our Connected Learning Community, our goal was to elevate and extend the use of technology for teaching and learning by creating a 2:1 environment in Grade 7 through the addition of iPad Minis for each student. Midway through our year-long trial, we decided to reflect on the effect of this trial and created a mini-documentary based on the student and teacher experiences.
As an innovative school, we see the use of technology for learning as a process, rather than a destination. We are not satisfied with the status quo, nor do we stop at the first step in a journey. We are constantly looking forward, to continue to innovate and improve our teaching and learning experiences for both students and teachers.
In order to move beyond our current paradigm, we felt that the use of mobile technology will enable us to reach that next step. We identified the iPad Mini as the appropriate tool for YIS for the following reasons:
- size and portability
- staying within the Apple iOS
- functionality with available apps
- ease of use for both students and staff
Mobile technologies are allowing us to complement our current program in the following ways:
- authentic learning environments – taking advantage of portability
- thinking outside the box – technology is not “just” a computer
- move towards transformational use of technology
- document learning (cameras, audio recording)
- access media in a more appropriate format
- disruptive technology – enabling us to think about technology for learning in new ways
Our goal is to make our CLC about the learning, so that the technology is just the portal for accessing, sharing, connecting and reflecting on that learning. The use of both laptops and iPads are allowing us to take advantage of two complementary tools: the laptop being stronger for more traditional uses (like research, typing, heavy duty video editing), and the iPad allowing us to be more innovative (using recording features, native input features like drawing and writing, a more personal and connected environment). The “second screen” environment allows us to take advantage of both input and output at the same time, similar to a notebook and textbook.
Be sure to check out the most recent blog posts to see where we are up to now!