NWHC Library iPad Project


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  • We were awarded £2,500 to develop the project specifically aimed at art tutors. Six iPads 2 were purchased plus accessories and App Store vouchers.Why iPads? – They are the art industry standard.We contacted Apple, they were sufficiently helpful to make sense of the licences and technology implications.We attempted managing iPads with iTunes, however the application’s functionality was partially disabled on the college network. No Apple Configurator, therefore.Each iPad is linked with its own iTunes account. Email aliases are used for that; physically, all emails from iTunes come to one live email account.The initial expectations of very enthusiastic adoption of the devices were not met by our teaching colleagues.Therefore,the iPads have been divided between two sites; we started marketing it to learners at the art college (and the response was brilliant – see stats), and to tutors – at the other site where iPads are booked for use in a classroom most of the time.
  • Learners are given a free reign with iPads.They use their own wi-fi accounts, their own iTunes accounts if they want to download apps.We lend the tablets for four hours and allow them to be taken anywhere in the college. They are issued on the LMS as any other resources. Staff can borrow for longer.If they want chargers, they can be issued too, however most of the time iPads are sufficiently charged.We’ve preloaded some obvious apps like Facebook and Dropbox, as well as created folders with apps and access icons to the library and college systems and services.It seems learners primarily use iPads for three activities: 1) playing with images and games, 2) browsing the internet and 3) watching online video. All these are perfectly legitimate activities from my point of view, they contribute to what the college aims for – learners’ achievement and realisation of their full potential.In the beginning of the academic year we had to help learners with logging in, answered some basic enquiries; later on, the wisdom of using the tablets was passed around, shared sufficiently enough, so no enquiries any more.
  • The main users of iPads in a classroom are engineering and childcare tutors; hairdressing tutors had a go too.In the art college, Performing Arts learners take iPads to a classroom and use them instead of laptops when they need to check something and made short notes, and instead of paper and books – to read from when reciting.A Hairdressing tutor was the first to spot an opportunity in using iPads for recording evidence. Videos were uploaded to Dropbox and then watched on the large screen. They were also made accessible to learners off-campus via a public folder.An Engineering tutor has been using tablets with his level 1 learners for four days every week. In his opinion, tablets allow more flexibility and enhanced interaction in the classroom: they can be easily shared, passed around or placed in the centre of a group of students working on the same project. He also noted that there was more collaboration in the classroom – learners were more likely to discuss and help each other.His students reported that they preferred tablets to textbooks: they liked an easy access to a lot of information and the whole experience of using a physical touch. For the majority of learners this was the only occasion when they used iPads; in spite of that, they quickly learned the basics and showed each other their discoveries.Two childcare tutors working with learners on level 2 & 3 reported that behaviour management was easier with the tablets – there was an appreciation of the fact that they could use devices otherwise accessible to the majority of them only at the Apple Store display. They were actively exploring the devices and new possibiliies, experimenting and exprssing emotions more freely – there was a good rapport in the classroom; they noticed that learners who normally would keep apart were more likely to work together. To my mind some of this is due to the novelty, however, the same has been repeated in different forms again and again – the dynami in the room was different. Implications – we classes cn be more dynamic, multi-layerd and interactive.Childcare students on L3 and HE programmes used ipads to record interviews. Interes, mature HE students struggled with the task, while younger learners on the BTEC programme took it as fun. Perhaps, this comes down to self-awareness and readiness to let things go and enjoy the moment.Another notable use of iPads was for making a short video recording and embedding it into a PowerPoint. A tutor who did it for the first time was amased how easy and quick it was.
  • Support staff found a good use to iPads too.I often keep one at the enquiry desk with me as it comes useful when dealing with enquiries on the library floor.It’s great at one-two-ones to explain something and demonstrate.The library iPads were used to record video reports from events such as a student art show; they were used as interactive screens at shows and exhibitions, to help with career advice and searching for jobs, for collecting feedback and drawing attention to displays at various college events.
  • There is a lot of buzz around iPads: learners love using them.As noted above, the classroom dynamics becomes richer with tablets and learners engage with collaborative learning easier.Effectively, it seems tablets help to develop more interesting pedagogy.
  • Perhaps, a little bit more on the problems and obstacles.Among the difficulties, learners mentioned occasionally unstable wi-fi in their classroom and inability to easily transfer their writings over to their personal computers.This should be rectified when Microsoft apps for iPad are released next year. Surprisingly few tutors requested apps to be downloaded to the devices; it seems the concept of apps is more complex than the devices themselves.Extremely disappointing: Older projectors are not compatible with iPads – limited use for devices.
  • Before inviting your questions, I should also mention that the Functional Skills team has 28 small Android tablets.In the past I was sceptical about such devices – their usability is poor comparing to iPads, lack of support and Google Play is pretty messy. However, tutors use them with success and they pointed out to me that our learners are comfortable with Android devices as if they can afford smartphones these are usually Samsung’s Galaxy, so they aproach those tablets with confidence, with no surprise.Here we are. Lets see whether we have questions or comments.
  • NWHC Library iPad Project

    2. 2. STARTED IN APRIL 2012 Six iPad2 devices for use with creative art tutors, now used across the college Linked to individual iTunes accounts and managed separately; App Store vouchers Available to learners and staff equally Just under 1,000 loans to learners in nine months
    3. 3. LEARNERS USE THEM FOR…L e a r n e r s a r e g i v e n a f r e e r e i g n w i t h i Pa d s . I t s e e m s l e a r n e r s u s e i Pa d s f o r t h r e e activities primarily: 1) playing with imagesThey use their own wi-fi accounts, their and games, 2) browsing the internet and 3)o w n i Tu n e s a c c o u n t s i f t h e y w a n t t o watching online video. All these aredownload apps. perfectly legitimate activities from my p o i n t o f v i e w, t h e y c o n t r i b u t e t o w h a t t h eWe l e n d t h e t a b l e t s f o r f o u r h o u r s a n d college aims for – learners’ achievementallow them to be taken to anywhere in thecollege. They are issued on the LMS as any and realisation of their full potential.other resources. Staff can borrow forl o n g e r. In the beginning of the academic year we had to help learners with logging in,If they want chargers, they can be issued answered some basic enquiries; later on,t o o , h o w e v e r m o s t o f t h e t i m e i Pa d s a r esufficiently charged. the wisdom of using the tablets was passed around, shared sufficiently enough, so noWe ’ v e p r e l o a d e d s o m e o b v i o u s a p p s l i k e enquiries any more .Facebook and Dropbox, as well as createdfolders with apps and access icons to thelibrary and college systems and services .
    4. 4. TUTORS WITH LEARNERS USE THEM FOR… Online research, recording evidence Games, quizzes, surveys Collaborative learning, creative projectsPhoto by James F ClayCC BY-NC 2.0http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesclay/3509154015/
    6. 6. MAIN BENEFITSRich classroom Engagement with dynamic variety of mediaEasier behaviour Immediate management demonstration (contested) CollaborativeFor younger learning made learners, tablets easier are easier to use Wow effect than PCs
    7. 7. BARRIERSInsufficient number Tutors’ confidence of devices PC-focused collegeInsufficient MS network Office integration Ebook platformsNew e-safety designed for PCs concerns
    8. 8. LET’S TALK!ihar.ivanou@nwhc.ac.uknwhc-librarian.blogspot.co.uk@ihar