iPad Professional Development

Tomorrow we are catching the 6:30am train to Melbourne(2hrs).  We will be meeting up with all the other schools in the trial and having some very interesting sessions. I will post about the day over the weekend or perhaps on the way home on the train if there is bandwidth.   Marco Torres will be the highlight as he is so inspiring.

Syncing at school and purchasing apps

Some children don’t have the internet or have very slow internet at home. So to cater for these children we will be setting up local accounts on a laptop for the students to use to sync the iPads. As there aren’t many in this situation it will be okay but if we had a lot it would make the initial purchasing of apps very slow.

All students have a budget of $100 to purchase the apps from iTunes and the parents will be required to make the account and with hold the pass word so they have control over the iTunes account. The apps list is like a book list. They have to download certain apps as on the list.

It will be interesting to see what happens when the grade 6’s leave at the end of the year as the iPads will have to be resynced and the apps repurchased by the new users.

Is a school account and use by students in the school seen as personal use? I wonder as this would have made purchasing and syncing easier but we are not sure of the copy right laws and the legality of purchasing and then syncing with many. So to be safe each student or parent is responsible for creating a new iTunes account and purchasing the apps for the iPad.

Using iPads in education and YouTube

If you search on YouTube you will find many movies about using the iPads in the classroom. As my bandwidth is now shaped watching them at home is impossible and as YouTube is banned at school I cant watch them there also. So here are the links for you to watch. Let me know how they go.

Using the iPad in the Classroom

iPad for educators 101 accessories
iPad in class
Student using an ipad to reinforce a lesson
iPad Classroom
Apple iPad VGA adapter demo
Think I found an app for that somewhere. I’ll look again and let you know.

Proxies

When you set up the iPads its very easy to find a network and join. However at school you will also need to add the proxy settings in wi fi to manual and put in your proxy settings. Without the settings we could go to the internet, we could reach iTunes but we couldn’t download anything from the apps store on the iPads.

Thanks Chris (my great tech) for giving us this fix.

I am still to get my head around proxies and firewalls. I do what is needed but have no idea how it works. I think its time I took time to find out. Anyone got a simple explanation?

Setting up

We have been setting up our iPads with lots of apps that have been suggested by the trial team.(Suggested Apps for school)  iWork was the first to download and looks very sleek. Pages, keynote and numbers all will be used and are even more simple than on the laptop.

I also  downloaded many apps we also have on the iPods that are creative apps like sonic pics, etcha sketch, fastfinga and more.

We were given some iTunes cards and made an account for each iPad for staff to use. The students will have their own accounts and have to download their apps at home. If they don’t have the Internet at home they can download them at school so we can make multiple iTunes libraries or have the children log into the file server and use their own iTunes library on the server. I’m not sure how quickly the apps would sync across the network though. We wanted to make the staff accounts fairly generic so they are school accounts and not linked to teachers. Although for ease of use we have downloaded the apps onto the teacher’s laptops.
The more I use the iPad the more I like it. Duplicam is a great app as it let’s you take photos with your iPhone (camera module free) and they come instantly onto the iPod.   Also you can access all the photos on the iPhone and find them in the photo gallery on the iPad. If a teacher has an iphone (as most of us do) this would be a great way to instantly have a picture available for a student.  We will also use our intranet photo gallery for sharing photos as these can be accesssed on the iPads.
As we’ve been looking at fractions lately I added Freddy fraction and number line. Sonic pics works well on the iPad and the inbuilt mic is great. Sound paper will be interesting and I’ve  thought about giving it a go at running records. I have a smart pen so it will be interesting to compare them.. I’m hoping the instant on and no uploading will be a bonus.  However there would also be no uploading to the website though like the smart pen.
I am writing this post on the iPad and I’m thinking of how the children will be able to blog onto the web also. Blogpress is terrific on the iPad. (at home) I like the way it lists all your post down the side for easy viewing. I hope it will work on the iPads at school as I haven’t got it to work at school on the iPods.

Edmodo may be useful as well, for tweeting about learning. So watch this space for tweet details if you want to follow the kids’ iPad tweets.
While we have been attempting to download apps we have had a bit of fun and games with iTunes at school. On my laptop it works fine but on my principal’s (Kerry’s)laptop the pictures don’t show in iTunes and it won’t always reach the store.  We have checked all the proxy settings and it seems the same as my laptop but it fails to contact the iTunes store and times out. We have some technicians coming tomorrow and I suspect there will be some firewalls and proxies to blame. Well today my laptop has the same problems.  Some apps show art work and some don’t.

I have now reverted to my laptop as my home bandwidth has been shaped and it was taking ages to load typing to the blog.  Editing was also a problem as the uploading wasn’t happening on the iPad.  I will edit this post when I’m at school tomorrow as I haven’t been able to have multiple windows open to add links to the different websites.  So please revisit for the links.

Yes now all the links have been added and the pdf file of the apps suggested downloads.

News Flash: Epsom PS one of 8 schools in the iPad Trial

Yes it’s now official that Epsom Primary School is one of the eight schools across Victoria who have been chosen to trial the iPads.  We are very excited about this and are looking forward to the start of the program in August.

Each child in grade 5&6 will receive an iPad for their use 24/7.  We will be asking some questions such as follows:

How will the iPads assist the students to learn?  How will the students use the iPads along side the interactive whiteboard and the netbooks?  What will be easier to do on an iPad?  How will the iPads use change the learning activities/organisation in the classroom?

Watch this space for updates on our trial.