Wrapping-up Our Trial

It’s hard to believe, but we’re already halfway through our iPad Trial. We’ll have two events next week to begin to wrap-up the process:

Monday

Grade 7 Teachers meeting in the Loft at 4:05pm. Please find the agenda here.

Friday

7A & 7B will return their iPads during P8 in the Loft. If you teach 7A & 7B at that time, please come to the Loft to help with crowd control. We’ll have a few quick technical things to do to erase and restore the iPads and then we’ll have a short reflective conversation. 7C will return their iPads in Humanities as they have an assessment that period.

Thank you for all you’ve done to make the trial a success, for welcoming us into your classrooms this week, and for sharing your stories here on the iPads blog! Looking forward to hearing about more highlights on Monday!

Requesting an App

Based on the teacher suggestions at our last meeting, we have completed the “big 10” list of apps!

We have also compiled a list of all the apps you requested (if there were apps that do the same thing, we selected the one that was most flexible), and all of these will be available to all grade 7 students when the iPad trial starts on Thursday May 8th.

iPad Trial Apps

Here is the list of all apps that all grade 7 students will have access to. All apps will be available in a special apps catalog which students will set up on Thursday (the service is called AirWatch). AirWatch is only being used to manage student apps at this time.

Selecting the Right Apps

As you are exploring with your iPad, you’ll probably find tons of apps that you would like to use with your students. Here are a few things to think about before you request those apps:

Consider:

  • Cost – just because it’s free, doesn’t mean it’s best. Also, if they have “in app” purchases, sometimes that makes the full app more costly than it seems. Note: the school can not buy “in app” features, so if there’s something you need, it’s better to buy the “pro” version or choose one that doesn’t have “in app” purchases to enhance the app.

  • Accessibility – it needs to be available in the Japan store (all of our volume licensing will be for the Japan store)

  • Sharing features – ideally the ability to share to existing services is best (Google Drive, YouTube, etc) rather than sharing up to a specific website that students need to sign up for (eg: Fotobabble)

  • Size of the app – this is an important consideration given that students will have 16GB devices, if an app is so large (we found one that is 2GB!) it will take up too much space

  • Volume Licensing Cost – consider if the app is reduced in price using VPP (some apps are not discounted at all)

Once you’ve determined that this app meets all the above requirements, please feel free to request the appfollowing the procedure here. Please note, this can take up to one week before the app will be available in our YIS iTunes store.

Requesting Additional Apps

If you would like students to have access to any apps (even free apps) that are not on this list, we will follow this process:

  1. Check the list to make sure we don’t already have the app
  2. Complete this survey
  3. Request will be reviewed by the IT Department
  4. If approved, app will be added to the AirWatch app catalog

This process will take about one week, so please make sure to allow enough time.

Note: it’s important that all apps that students are asked to use are in the AirWatch app catalog – even if they are free. This helps us manage all apps, as well as present a consistent approach with all students.

Documenting our journey with iPads

Trialling an initiative like a 2:1 environment requires a huge team effort. It is important that we are able to learn from others in our team as well as to share our learning with the other teams that have been created. To help with this, and to make sure we are creating a bank of knowledge for the future, we’d like to ask each team for the following:

  • Regular meetings – As part of our learning, each team should be meeting at regular intervals to discuss what they have discovered/learned as well as to share questions that they still have. Please be sure to invite Kim and Clint to these meetings so that (hopefully) one of them can attend. We would also like to ask that each team document their learning/thinking from each meeting. You can use any format that you like so long as it is shareable. If you like, you can use this template.
  • Summary blog post – By the end of the trial, it would be great if each team could write at least one blog post on this blog that documents their journey as a team. Each person should have been made an author to make this easier.  This post could be an overview of what you learned as a team over the course of the trial and the impact that you feel the iPads have had on learning in your classroom. It could also be way to share any apps or resources that you found during this trial. Of course, if you would like to write more than one post you are more than welcome to!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask Kim or Clint in the hallways or to send one of them an email!

cc licensed image by elise.y

Greetings from the tech side of the tech team!

Welcome!

Welcome to the iPad trial from Stephen, Genki, Aaron and Yui. We’re really excited to be a part of this trial and look forward to see how the iPad will positively influence you and your students’ learning. As with all technology, it’s not about the device; it’s about the doors it opens for you and your students.

The iPad mini is a complementary device. It’s a bit of a step into the unknown from both educational and management perspectives in many regards. Together, we will be learning on the job and there will be ups and downs in our implementation and use.

A New Device

We don’t have a user agreement for iPad in the same way as we have a form for your laptops. We know that you will do everything that you can to stop your iPad from being damaged or lost. Any input into what should be included in a hardware acceptance form for students would be really appreciated, including ideas about liability.

Management of the iPad, especially management of the apps, could lead us down many different avenues. Some management models will offer the flexibility in distribution of apps and financial accountability that we will need, whereas other paths will have problems, whether technically or operationally.

You & Your Experience

Your opinion and experience using the iPad is important to us! So please drop by for a chat with any of us with your feedback, suggestions and, of course, questions. We will be doing everything possible to provide a model that gives you the academic freedom that is necessary, but at the same time being financially responsible and cognisant of the fact that the amount of IT support staffing needs to remain static.

Resetting your iPad and your iTunes Account

Please try to come to the help desk some time in the next week to reset your iPad to the default setting so that it will be just like new with no apps. You can then link your iPad to your iTunes account. You don’t have an iTunes account? Never fear, we are here. We’ll help you set one up. I’ll see Chiyoka to organise getting the 2000 yen into your February pay.

iPad Cases

Genki is sending out a survey about iPad cases. Remember it’s not about how pretty it is. We’ve offered you 2 cases. My advice, swap them amongst yourselves and spend some time with each one. Don’t worry, you’ll get the one you want in the end. Why do this? First off, it’s good for you to have an opinion about the case the students may end up with. Your input on that front is very important. You might also surprise yourself and find you like a case you might not have otherwise considered. Need help putting the protective film on the screen of your iPad? Come to the help desk so we can do it for you. We will do almost anything for chocolate.