e7 resources: A teacher’s views on a 1:1 iPad trial, part 2

Implementing a brand new technology like iPad in the classroom, and getting students to actually engage, is never completely plain sailing. But with a bit of trial and error in how that technology is used, the uptake soon becomes easier. In her latest update, Tiverton High School Modern Foreign Languages teacher Gemma Dobson explains how she encountered and then overcame an early hiccup…

A few lessons ago, we hit a bit of a wall. I tried something new with the class and one of the things I tried just didn’t work very well, and the pupils ended up reacting very negatively. Some even asked if they could just use pen and paper for a lesson instead of iPad, which left me feeling quite deflated! Later, when I reflected on the situation I realised two things:

1.) A 1:1 iPad trial is as hard work for the pupils as it is for the teacher. They had had several lessons of experiments by this point and just needed a bit of consistency.

2.) Maybe we don’t need to use iPad all the time. Actually, there’s a lot to be said for allowing the pupils to make the decision whether to use their iPad or paper, and they can always take a screen shot so that their work is still all kept together.

Improved work sharing

Since then things have greatly improved and our love for the iPad devices has been rekindled. Last week, I was off school and found it incredibly easy to leave cover work. Because it was all iPad-based work, I could email it to the pupils and they were able to send everything back to me. Normally I would have used Edmodo [a collaborative iPad app] as a base for this, as I did with other classes that week who were using computers or our class set of iPad devices, but this particular class can be a little unreliable when it comes to remembering log-in details! Another fantastic thing was that towards the end of the week when I was feeling a little better I was able to sit at home and interact with my pupils during their cover lesson – they could ask me questions, I could check their work, it was great!

I have never seen so much work produced in a cover lesson!

The pupils are now becoming much more independent in their use of the iPad devices. They often share good learning apps (and sometimes games!) with me, and when I set a task I usually give them a choice of apps that they can use. They use them well in other lessons too, and iPad is becoming a big part of their school day and their learning. The amount of work they produce has increased dramatically because they are always fully engaged in the lesson, and I can see very good progress from all pupils, especially those who usually find MFL lessons more difficult.

– Missed Part 1? Find out how Gemma’s first couple of weeks went here.

About TivertonTiverton High School is a mixed comprehensive in the market town of Tiverton, Devon. They teach just over 1300 pupils, aged 13-16. Visit Tiverton’s website for more information.About GemmaGemma is a Modern Foreign Languages teacher specialising in German, French and Spanish. She is keen on using anything creative to get pupils interested in languages, and is curious about how iPad devices can impact on teaching and learning. She writes about her 1:1 iPad classroom experiences over at her blog, My 1:1 iPad Classroom.

Want to know more about 1:1 iPad deployments in schools? See our e7 Project here, call 03332 409 333 or email e7@Jigsaw24.com. You can also follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

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