Today I participated in an Apple training workshop. We invited an “Apple Distinguished Educator” who is contracted by Apple to work with schools implementing Apple technology. Mr. Oscar Stringer is based in the UK and he is here training the teachers who will be piloting the iPads next year.
We met in the morning to talk about the administration of the program. Below are my salient “take-aways”
- The big difference between iPads and lap tops is speed.
- Can iPads replace laptop computers? I am beginning to be convinced. Oscar suggested I use “Drop Box” which is an online storage service which is basically the folders on a computer, but it is stored on line. I think eventually they replace laptop computers, but I am not sure when. It is difficult question because it needs to coincide with our budget cycle, which is determined in November and December each year for the following year. Will be know by November 2012, after a 3-month pilot program, how exactly iPads can be used at ISB, for the 2013-2014 school year?
- I am doing this blog post with my portable keyboard and iPad. Unfortunately I don’t have the latest iPad that has a camera, otherwise it would have been easy to include a photo or short video with this blog post. I’ll have to do it later. (As you can see, I did.)
- The best school model for ISB would be for us to buy the iPads and have the parents rent the iPads from us for 25$ per month. They do get insurance with it. We would have to buy them ourselves instead of working through Apple because of the transiency of our student population. The students may not be here for the 3 years required by Apple for this service.
- You need to get a case with the iPad.. Oscar demonstrated “balls” that fit on the corners of the iPad. You can drop it without damage. I need to get a picture of that.
- Secondary use is much different than Elementary. Students use Apps to create content while younger students practice skills on the apps.
- With the secondary students, teachers don’t have to teach students how to use apps, they can figure it out. The iPad is the ultimate “Swiss Army Knife” and it is not a tool, but a tool box. There are 200,000 apps available.
- It is important to have many workshops with students, parents, Board Members using iPads and enthusiastic teachers drive the program.
Drop Box Notes -One gets 5GB free with a signup and all info stored on Amazon.com servers. The idea is to save documents, like .pdf ,, and then yoiu don’t have to worry about the storage limit. Photos and videeos would quickly exceed the limit. I am not impressed with the service, it is not much different than Google.docs.