iPad iNstitute Agenda

Here’s the schedule for today:

Time Topic
Period 2
10:00 – 10:40
Student iPad Trial Introduction (presentation)
Setting the stage for the trial/explaining the parameters of the trial
Period 3
11:05 – 12:35
Activity: Connecting to the CLC
Groups here
Period 4
11:05 – 12:35
Unbox/Setup (directions here)
Locations: Loft
Lunch  NOTE: This is HS lunch. Please take all of your bags with you!
Period 5
12:35 – 1:15
 Scavenger Hunt
Period 6/7
1:55 – 3:15
Learning the Top 10 Apps
Period 8
3:15 – 4:00
Preparing for Parent Session
Wrap up/Reflection
iPad collection

Getting Ready for the iPad iNstitute 2015

In order to be ready to receive our iPads on Thursday, we will need to create a school-based Apple ID. If you have your own personal Apple ID, YOU WILL STILL NEED TO CREATE A SCHOOL-BASED ONE.

Here’s what we need to do:

  1. Answer the questions on this survey. Part 1 is to tell us a little something about yourself. Part 2 is the information that you will use to create your Apple ID. NOTE: this survey should already have the school address completed for you. If you want to use your home address and phone number (assuming you know them) you can change the answers.
  2. Once you submit the survey, you should automatically receive an email with your answers attached as a PDF.
  3. Go to the iTunes store on your computer, sign out of your personal account (if you have one), and make sure you are in the Japan store.
  4. Search for the Google Search app for iPad and click “Get”.
  5. Click “Create Apple ID” from the pop-up window and use your answers from (1.) to create your ID.

Once your Apple ID is created, you will need this information to set up your new iPad at the iNstitute. Make sure you remember your login details and keep them safe!

Community Focus Group Update

We hosted our first Community Focus Group of this academic year (but the third of our trial) this morning. Once again, we had a fantastic group of students, parents and teachers working together.

We started our session by reviewing some of the key highlights from the student and parent surveys. This was a great starting point for our main focus of discussion, reflecting on our indicators of success for the trial.

Indicators of Success

Last year, in our first Community Focus Group meeting, we developed 4 key indicators of success for our iPad Trial. We determined that if these 4 criteria were met, we would have had a successful trial:

  1. Developing transferable skills, as we don’t know what future technological developments will be
  2. Learning from each other – parents from children, teachers from students and vice versa.
  3. Learning in different ways that enrich the learning outcomes.
  4. More learning can take place outside the classroom.

Now that we have had more experience in a 2:1 environment, we spent some time thinking about these 4 indicators: Are they still appropriate and relevant for us? If we achieve these, have we demonstrated a successful trial? Is there anything else we are missing. Each indicator was discussed in small groups (parents together, students together, and teachers together) and then shared, revised and confirmed by all stakeholders. Our new success criteria are:

  1. Develop transferrable and timeless skills that can be used for current and new technologies. (These transferrable skills can include interpersonal skills, communication skills, and balance, as well as technological skills).
  2. Teachers, students and parents are learning from each other – children from adults and vice versa.
  3. We are learning in a variety of ways.
  4. Learning takes place in a variety of locations.
  5. iPads are used intentionally to help students continue to develop their skills, experience and knowledge.
  6. We maintain balance in our lives.

Reflecting on the Indicators of Success

Once we had our new list of indicators, we reflected on some successes so far, and some suggestions for the next semester. Here are a few highlights:

Successes so far:

  • Students feel more confident at risk-taking, learning how to be confident to do different things.
  • Students can choose the best way to combine the two devices – Skype with one person on the iPad for HW, type on the laptop at the same time, for example
  • Voice recording has made presenting skills much easier to develop – easy to practice, listen, revise.
  • Students are feeling more organized by using Notability in maths – keeps worksheets altogether, less chance of losing things.
  • Students don’t have to learn too many new things, many apps are the same as on laptop.
  • We are learning from each other  – for example, students easily taught their parents about frequencies and old people going deaf in science using an app.
  • Teachers are open to learning from students.
  • This is not just a replacement for the textbook, but opens up different combinations of ways to show learning, etc.
  • Students can go deeper into projects and find more details, research, etc. than if we just had textbooks – mandela => apartheid => colonialism
  • It’s not that we are learning more, it’s more the way we are learning varies.
  • The iPad can be used instead of a phone – take photos, notes, record ideas wherever I am.
  • I can work on iPad in different environments like a park or a cafe, practicing kanji on the train.

Suggestions for next semester:

  • Managing projects and multitasking is a good skill we could use for other things, we really have to learn how to manage time and switch between different classes and projects better. The skills of switching between different apps & devices could also be helpful for developing skills of switching between tasks as adults.
  • Expand use certain apps that have been useful in another subject eg Notability.
  • Make better use of, or revise, the “Top 10 Apps”.
  • Sharing our work with others, teaching others how to use things, teaching younger students and even parents how to use apps.
  • Student and teacher teaching sessions for different apps perhaps during tutor.
  • More teacher-directed use of apps for development of new skills and application across subjects.
  • For new people, both devices can be tricky to learn and use – identify support sources (tech buddy in each class, access to teachers and tech support).
  • Make sure to continue to focus on balance – there is value in both the new ways and the traditional ways of doing things.

Next Steps

We will continue to reflect on the trial so far, and plan to implement these suggestions in the next semester. There will be additional Community Focus Group meetings during the second semester to continue getting feedback and reflecting on the process. We are looking forward to seeing our trial continue to grow and develop over the next semester as students, parents and teachers become even more comfortable with having, managing and balancing two devices.


Mid-Trial Feedback

Now that we are about half-way through the trial, we wanted to see how things were going and get ideas for how we can continue to improve in the second semester. So, we spent the last few weeks gathering feedback about the iPad Trial so far.

We sent a survey home to all grade 7 parents on December 3rd, conducted a similar survey with all grade seven students the following week, collected video reflections from the students, and interviewed teachers. We received about a 40% response-rate on the survey from parents, and 100% from students (since we asked them to complete the survey at school).

We will combine all of these elements into a mini-documentary highlighting teacher and student impressions of the 2:1 trial, but in the meantime, here are some of the highlights from the surveys (please note these are copied and pasted directly):

From the Parent Survey

“They seem to be good tools for learning. However, between the laptop and the iPad, it seems that our daughter just has too many technology distractions and more opportunities to waste time. She is really struggling with time management. The computer and iPad are too distracting for this level of maturity. It’s worse this year with the addition of the iPad.”

I am positive about the iPad as a tool for learning, however I think that the specific apps are not used that much and therefore do not add a lot of learning possibility; the efficiency of 2 screens is the biggest advantage.

I think the iPad allows for creativity and flexibility during school. I have not seen him use it much at all for homework, so I am not sure that it is necessary for each child to have both devices and bring them both back and forth each day. He does have his own, non-school iPad which he uses for fun on train journeys and when out and about.

I believe it has been a very good experience so far. The apps have been very useful to help my son complete his projects. In the beginning he sometimes didn’t know which technology to use but I noticed that he has been a lot more confident recently and knows exactly when to use the ipad or the computer.

From the Student Survey

I think the best part of having a Laptop is that it makes it easier to send work to teachers and you can make interesting projects. I think the best thing about the iPad is how you record on the iPad because it’s really easy. Maybe we should try to use the iPads only when necessary.


It gives us more opportunity to do projects in different styles. In PE we are using coaches eye, and its much easier to explain my ideas, because you can annotate and make the video slow-motion. I want teachers to learn about the I pads more, and experiment with it to see if its really effective. At the moment I can’t judge how useful they are because were not using them enough.

I think having the IPad is a good idea because its easier to do more things like taking notes, making short videos, photos, and many more. having an IPad and a computer helps me get things done quicker and be more creative with my work.

There are different functions on the iPad that you can’t do on your Laptop and there is easier accessibility to certain things. The Laptop is helpful when doing summative assignments and homework that involves more work like typing a essay.

Its really easy to film, so What I like to do is film on the Ipad, then edit videos on the computer, so I could use a good combination with the Ipad and computer.

The best part is that we can choose the best tool for classes and homework that can do the job we want to do better than the other. Maybe we could use the iPads for different classes and activities that we have not used them for when in reality would be useful.

Next Steps

We will use the data we collected to inform our next Community Focus Group meeting in December. We will also conduct another round of surveys and interviews later on this year.

iPad Institute September 2014

On Wednesday, September 24th, we hosted our second iPad Institute to launch this year’s iPad Trial. Once again, the institute was a very successful experience, with the grade 7 students spending a day together exploring and learning about their new iPads. The day was broken down into 4 key parts with a parent presentation the following morning.

Part 1: Reflecting on the CLC Vision

For the first session we wanted to stay focused on our CLC vision to give a clear purpose, focus and framework for learning with the iPads. We started with an introductory presentation to set the stage and highlight some key themes for our trial. Once we had the background and purpose defined for the students, we wanted to give them some time to think about how their learning experiences might be different over the next year, and how that will fit into the framework of our CLC vision. We developed 10 different activities (2 for each of the 5 themes of our CLC vision) that the student groups would rotate through:

  • Attitudes and Behaviors: Our community will be characterized by inquisitive, discerning, open-minded, and self-directed learners who use technology in a balanced and responsible manner.
    • Activity 1: Acrostic Poem: Write your name in the boxes provided. Use the letters in your name to create a poem describing how you will use your iPad as a self directed learner.
    • Activity 2: I used to, Now I will: For each aspect of the vision statement, explain what you used to do, and then what you will do now. eg: As an inquisitive learner…. I used too…. Now I will…
  • Learning Environment: Ubiquitous access to technology tools and resources will enhance our learning environment, expanding horizons beyond the physical classroom. This will empower YIS learners to access information, collaborate, and exchange ideas within the YIS community and around the world.
    • Activity 1: Before & After: Use the small boxes of paper to draw yourself learning in one of the environments given or an environment of your own choice. Draw yourself “before” having an iPad and “after” having an iPad. Glue your pictures on to the big paper. If you can’t think of an example for the places given, use the blank paper to add a new location.
    • Activity 2: App Smash: List apps that help you learn outside of the classroom to: access information, collaborate, and exchange ideas 
  • Actions and Decisions: Our actions and decisions will demonstrate responsible digital citizenship, reflect our school values and create a positive online presence.
    • Activity 1: Manifesto: Write your own contract with yourself describing how you will make good choices with both of your devices. List 5-7 commitments you will make to ensure you will make good choices with your iPad. Sign and date it at the end.
    • Activity 2: Gingerbread People: With this activity, student will label the gingerbread men with statements that show how a persons acts/feels with the ipad. Example: With these hands, I download apps that will help me at school. If time, students can add “accessories” (earbuds, for instance).
  • Educational Experiences: Educational experiences will be authentic, imaginative, and provide for different learning paces and styles. Learners will be encouraged to become independent and enterprising in order to meet the challenges of a constantly changing world.
    • Activity: Tableau: With your group, stage a scene that shows what you image a learning environment will look like with two devices. Ask a teacher to take the picture using the iPad provided. Upload to the YISCLC Instagram account (already open on the iPad) and write a description of the scene in the caption.
  • Community: Our Connected Learning Community will provide a sense of identity and belonging that will enrich our overall school community and connect us with others around the globe.
    • Activity 1 Headlines: Write a statement about how the iPad will allow you to connect with others. Have a 1 minute discussion, take 30 seconds to write your own headline, then share your headline (identify 1 positive quality for each), and finally create a group headline.
    • Activity 2: Create an App Icon: Create an app icon that represents your community with an iPad. Choose a color, symbol and name that represents the message of the vision statement.

Part 2: Unboxing & Set-up

We learned a lot about this process last year, and were able to set up the iPads in lightning speed this year. Creating their Apple IDs in advance was very helpful, and we went through the process very smoothly. Once the iPads were unboxed and ready to go, the students connected to our AirWatch YIS store (which is how we’re distributing all apps to students) and then they started downloading our top 10 apps. As soon as they had most of the apps, we had them partner up with anyone else who was finished to complete this scavenger hunt to customize their iPad and start familiarizing themselves with our apps.

Part 3: Learning the Top 10

After a lunch break, we had each team become an expert in one of the top 10 apps. They had about 20 minutes to explore with the app, and think about how it can be used for learning. Then we split the teams and they taught each other in a speedgeeking rotation:


Part 4: Wrap-up & Preparing for the Parent Session

For the final block of the day, we did a wrap up of their learning and made sure to answer any remaining questions. We also spent this time planning and preparing for the parent session the next day.

Part 5: Parent Session

For the first two periods the next morning we had about half of the grade 7 parents join us for an introductory session. We showed the following presentation, and the students highlighted their learning throughout.

iPad Trial Feedback Results

Over the last week we’ve received lots of great feedback about the iPad trial through conversations with students, parents and teachers as well as all three feedback surveys. Here are a few key highlights:

Survey Highlights

All stakeholder groups, parents, students and teachers felt that the iPad:

  • enhanced student creativity,
  • increased student engagement in their learning,
  • provided more opportunities for student choice,
  • and allowed for more “fun-ness”,

while keeping the workload about the same during the trial.

In terms of efficiency and productivity, parents felt students were more efficient and productive, while teachers and students felt that both aspects remained about the same.

From the parent survey:

Parent Survey: Creativity

All stakeholder groups (parents, students and teachers) felt that the iPad Institute helped students to be very prepared for:

  • managing their devices (setting up their iPad, downloading apps, syncing, and charging)
  • being responsible with their devices (bringing both to school and selecting which device to use)
  • using the Top 10 Apps for learning
  • maintaining balance with multiple devices, and staying focused during class. However, all parents and students agree that it was more difficult for students to stay focused while at home.

Parents felt that the iPad Institute helped students to be very prepared for understanding the purpose of our iPad Trial, as well as learning in a 2:1 environment (2 devices per student), while students and teachers felt they were somewhat prepared.

From the Teacher Survey:

Teacher Survey: Prepared

From the student survey:

Student Survey: Balance

Here are some highlights from the general feedback section of each survey:

From Students:

  • “We had a choice of what to do. We didn’t only have to use the computer we could be unique from other people and have a different style. It’s also more exciting to choose which tool you want to use. Holding something and actually feeling is better. Another reason why it’s better is because if you forget your computer or iPad you always have a small back up.”
  • “The best parts of having an iPad was the choice of which apps to use for assessments and the ability to present in different ways than usual.”
  • “I think that the highlight was being able to have two things at once so that you can research and type out. It also makes it easier for you to read books. Also when doing a speech, speaker notes were easier rather than paper.”
  • “Using an iPad helped me do things easier and quicker than I could have done them on my laptop. But also, since they are complementary devices, they were both good to use. Using our iPad instead of computers in some occasions made our projects in class more fun and efficient.”

From Teachers:

  • “I have found the iPad great for my own productivity! I think the students will need a lot of training to fully realise the potential of the tool.”
  • “It seems a bit ineffective since opening and working with the different apps and technology takes a bit more time compared to working from a book or direct instruction but it makes the learning more fun so that gains a whole lot. The students were motivated to work with the iPads and making videos, recording and sharing in a quick way was effective and fun.”
  • “The iPads are helpful for kinesthetic learning and can support collaborative work without the barrier that laptop lids can sometimes pose. They can also be useful for scripts / notes / flashcards when presenting (as does paper, but the tech. offers easier changes and encourages students to revise their writing and edit while rehearsing). However, aside from the mobility that the iPad provides, laptops remain the main tool for the majority of technology-rich classroom teaching and learning.”

From Parents:

  • “I think it was a great experience for my daughter and a definitely useful tool for her learning. We’re thankful to be a part of this initial trial and we hope for its launch in the near future.”
  • “It was effective for my daughter to quickly research some materials on the internet. My daughter preferred using her PC for her homework and other works. She tried to utilize using her iPad on the train while commuting.”

Looking Ahead

It’s exciting to read the thoughtful and balanced feedback from all three of our critical stakeholder groups. Based on this feedback, we have highlighted some key themes to focus on as we move forward with the second phase of this trial (beginning in August 2014):

Managing Time & Distractions

Based on the feedback results, students are well prepared to focus on learning during school time, but struggle to manage this challenge at home. We will use the iPad Institute, as well other opportunities during the school year to help students build these skills. In order to continue to support parents, we’ll provide time to strategize together, as well as resources to help build good habits at home.

Complimentary Devices

This is one of the key elements of our trial. Having the iPads for only three weeks this semester made it more challenging to try to use each device in the most effective way. Next year we can highlight the different ways to make the most out of both devices, without feeling pressure to try everything in a limited timeframe. Getting to know a new tool always takes time, which we will have over the course of the next school year.


As always, we will continue to work towards helping students (and teachers, and parents!) find balance in their use of screen time. Over the course of the year next year we can continue to reflect on this process and see which strategies and approaches work best for all stakeholders.

iPad Trial Phase Two

Based on the outcomes of this short-version of our trial we will continue in the next school year with next year’s grade 7 students. We have tons of great ideas for continuing the areas of strength in this first phase of our trial, as well as for improving the areas that we found challenging. We are looking forward to working with together with the students, parents and teachers of grade 7 students next year to see what we can create!

Fieldwork and Classwork

I’ve been extremely impressed by the variety of uses we’ve already found for the iPads in a very short time, and by how meaningful and constructive those uses have been. I don’t have a lot to say that wasn’t covered by Rebekah’s excellent post and Rebekah’s other excellent post, but here are a few Vines of the 7th graders (and a few curious 6th graders) using their iPads for assorted acts of learning and creation.

Trailblazers: iPads and 7th Graders

This post is crossposted on my personal blog

My school has gone 2:1. Two devices, one student. Grade 7 students are now walking around with iPad minis in addition to their MacBook Airs. As any avowed Apple-Fangirl, I’ve been excited about this development. But as a teacher, I’ve been wondering how this would look. I was concerned that this was just conspicuous consumption and would provide minimal educational benefits. So while I wanted the pilot to work and I’ve been impressed as always at the thought our school puts into the roll out of new initiatives*, until the iPads were in the hands of my 7th graders, I was unsure it would be worth it.

One week in, I’m already seeing the benefits of being 2:1. I am amazed at how the iPads and computers are being used by my kids and how thoughtful they are with the devices. So as we go through the iPad pilot, I thought it’d be worth while to reflect on a list of things I’ve noticed in the past week.

1. Mobility is a huge advantage of the iPads.

I like having my kids walking around and sharing. The iPad lets them do in a way the computer doesn’t. And last week we went on a field trip and the grade 7s were able to take their iPads. As I stated on the YIS iPads blog

The mobility of devices proved a perfect way to document the field trip. With the iPads, students were able to take pictures, take notes and record important facts that will be used in a project about Yokohama History in Humanities class. It was impressive to see them use Noteability to take notes, Voice Recorder to record interviews with people we met or record information on museum exhibits, and various photos apps to modify their pictures.


2. The kids are really thoughtful about how they are using the devices for learning. I really appreciated that before they had the iPads, grade 7 students were questioning what benefit they would have in schools.

Headlines from the iPad Institute Grade 7s attended show how thoughtful our kids are about this experience. Picture from @superkimbo
Headlines from the iPad Institute Grade 7s attended show how thoughtful our kids are about this experience. Picture from @superkimbo

The one thing that I found out is that kids hadn’t been using iPads for anything besides consumption and they didn’t think iPads had any much educational value. But they’re challenging that belief every day.

3. Creation is easy on the iPad.

I love how our students willing to experiment with different apps. The products our students create aren’t perfect, but it allows for quick demonstration of thinking and understanding. That’s something I appreciate.

4. Kids are taking the lead. One of my favorite moments was when one kid volunteered to write down the instructions for sharing a video they created on the iPad.

Grade 7 Student Writing Down instructions for sharing Adobe Voice Video
Grade 7 Student Writing Down instructions for sharing Adobe Voice Video

No one is an expert with the iPad, so we’re all fumbling together. And some kids are leading the way.

5. Workflow is the biggest pain. Trying to figure out ways to AppSmash and to share things created on an iPad is what is taking the most time away from instruction.

Many steps to share a video and it still didn't work for many students.  And each app is different. It's a pain.
Many steps to share a video and it still didn’t work for many students. And there are different steps for each app. It’s a pain.
I realize how absurd this picture is. But he was having problems getting a photo from his iPhone to his iPad. His solution was quick and easy and effective. But still...a little absurd.
I realize how absurd this picture is. But he was having problems getting a photo from his iPhone to his iPad. His solution was quick and easy and effective. But still…a little absurd.

My kids are getting creative about how to make it work and I appreciate the chance for them to develop “grit” when it comes to technology. I’m assuming this will get easier with time, but right now it’s a challenge.

6. iPads are more social. 

There is something about the ability to share a screen, to not be blocked by a computer and the ability to move makes a difference.

I love this photo so much
I love this photo so much. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing.


7. This is definitely a 2:1 program.

GoogleDocs Script worked on collaboratively, iPad being used for Puppet Pals
GoogleDocs Script worked on collaboratively, iPad being used for Puppet Pals
Three Screens.
Throw in AirServer and we’re on three Screens.

I am very grateful for the fact that my kids still have their MacBooks. I appreciate that they are moving between the two devices and are being thoughtful about when to use which tool. There are times when the iPad makes sense. There are definitely time when the computer makes sense. I am so dependent on GoogleDocs that I would find it a huge change to my teaching if I could only have the kids use the iPad. Until Google and Apple play nice the iPad cannot work efficiently with GoogleDocs and I’d find it hard to give up the collaboration that comes with GoogleDocs.

In addition, the ability to have multiple screens is an embarrassment of riches. I love how my kids are using both devices in tandem and that they are complimenting each other.

She forgot she propped her iPad on her computer and was confused when the trackpad didn't work.
She forgot she propped her iPad on her computer and was confused when the trackpad didn’t work.

8. There is a still a way to go. 

I’m more than convinced than ever that a 2:1 initiative is worthwhile and has real educational benefits. But I feel like I have just scratched the surface. We keep telling the kids they are trailblazers. And that’s kind of how I feel too.



* Check out Kim Cofino’s blog our 2:1 (iPad Mini + MacBook Air 11″) trial at YIS. Check out these and posts for some background.



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:


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


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!