Overview - what we will discuss, informal so ask questions, anything anyone would like added to the list?
The trip itinerary: 13 days, 12 schools over LA, San Diego and San Francisco My expectations were to find out more about the different 1:1 laptop schemes and any other innovative ideas. Not really interested in mobile learning.
Desktops mainly in computers labs and high schools. Phasing out. 1:1 laptop schemes - school owned vs student owned, 9-3 vs 24/7, self insured, leased and owned Students were capable users, student voice - &#x201C;ownership&#x201D; of the laptop important. Noted lots of down time observed. Issues with ownership ie inappropriate information on laptops, software updates/purchases, network vulnerability, technical issues still the school&#x2019;s problem. Laptops stay with Y5/6 students for 2 years then go to Y3/4 students and so on.
1st school visit was New Village Leadership Academy set up by Will Smith as a home school alternative for his own kids. The founder photo displayed is from A Shark&#x2019;s Tale! Primary school, 50 students, class sizes around 8. Fees $12k/year, subsidised by Smith family. rockourworld.org
Mobile devices - saw a variety mainly being used in private schools and high schools. Laptops, netbooks, Appples, phones, iPods, PDAs, iPads etc. - some mixed device, student owned classes - was too early for iPads although there were individual examples - haves vs have nots
1st schools we saw were in the Escondido District. State funded. Initially the scheme was started to improve literacy fluency and comprehension - average of 2 years improvement in 6 months. When we visited the room the children were prepped for our visit and happily shared their enthusiasm for iPods. But once the teacher started talking to the visitors the kids became bored and that&#x2019;s when it go really interesting! Recount story about the girl who said she was smart now because she could use the iPod. The classroom teacher was not ICT savy but a good practitioner. She spoke about a transformation of her teaching practice since students got their iPods.
When I visited this class the teacher&#x2019;s thinking had moved even further. We saw the iPod being kept on each desk like a pencil case. It was up and down as required by the student. The students had been through the novelty stage and were now just completely engaged in the business of learning.
All were school owned, they were all discussing 24/7 use but currently 9-3 only, synced by teacher, each teacher had own iTunes gift card to buy apps. Trolley to sync all iPods at once to charge and update apps as required. Students keep their iPods and headphones in the plastic case that it comes it - with a label. It&#x2019;s important to them that the iPod is only belongs to them and they don&#x2019;t share it. Pride.
Apps - the range on the iTunes app store (and other sites) is incredible and grows daily (13,492 education ones alone yesterday). Many are free but even those with a cost are just a few dollars and you only need to buy it once no matter how many students use it. Reading activities, maths activities, books, publishing, google earth, research sites, blogging, drawing/art, comics, photo editing, audio recording (reflections). To download an app open itunes and search the apps section in the store. I have included links to lists of recommended apps in the handout.
iPad - finally being released in NZ this Friday! Significant cost difference $350 vs $800. More room to type but less convenient on the desk. A cross between an iPod Touch and a netbook. More trials and research needed but lots of potential.
Implications - I was sold on iPod Touches. Like computer suites vs classroom computers - in an ideal world I would have both. But if I have to choose then I choose 1:1 iPod Touches for Years 4-6. They are affordable and can work alongside existing networks whether PC, Apple, desktop or laptop. Positive, affordable options for e-Portfolios, special needs students etc. Opportunity to create own individualised apps eg Running Records app.
Where to next - no right or wrong BUT here are some options - 1:1 (or 1:2/1:3 Year 1-3), school owned, ask parents for $50 self insurance deposit (one-off), iTunes cards for teachers, syncing device. PD ongoing - before and after purchase. Lease vs own. iPods vs iPads. Costs outlined in handout.
Resources/Links - see handout Any questions?
Learning and teaching that is facilitated by or
supported through the smart use of information
and communication technologies.
mLearning (or mobile learning):
Learning that happens when the learner takes
advantage of the learning opportunities offered
by mobile technologies.
US Bus Tour
iPod Touch schemes