Over the last year I have been looking in to the benefits of deploying iPads to students at school, as a user myself I have seen massive changes in how I approach my work and the quality of what I can produce, how organised I have become and how it has impacted on my passion for teaching.
That being said it needs to be put into context when dealing with students and the context your students are in.

Stage 1
Research research research. Not necessarily to find ways of doing things but to get an idea of what can be done. There is no point following a trend if it will have little to no impact on your current model. I looked at examples from around the world of how iPads are being used. From classroom sets to BYOD and of course full on 1:1.

Stage 2
Get some sort of trial in place, you will not know the impact until you start to put it in place in your surroundings, you can visit as many places as you like but with anything it is not a simple transfer process. Different staff, students, parents and needs all need to be taken into account. I set up a trial loaning some iPads and deployed them
To a set of students, a plan was in place to meet regularly and train on app use and feedback was regular on issues and successes. This was huge, it taught me as much as it taught the students. They really did analyse the use and as always with students, they were honest.
A warning at this point, do not get bogged down with data, you will never achieve compelling data in a short study of use, look at engagement, punctuality, willingness to discuss school. These things will ultimately make improvements but it won’t be instant. I have just completed this part and the results were as expected, but this is still only stage 2

Stage 3
Research research research, what do you need to do to make this work? You need a structure in place, you should by now know the basics of what you have, wifi, staff needs, student needs etc. you will need to now think about the bigger issues. App purchase, system management (is your network manager up to speed on managing mobile devices) buying the devices (where from, what price) launching to parents (this in itself needs careful planning, go all in and risk a backlash, don’t seem like you have a plan and risk a lack of interest). Long term CPD, management of resources (Dropbox, google, Edmodo, Evernote, you need something the whole school uses) and of course a vision, a shared vision of how this will build. I have looked at create, communicate and collaborate, http://mat6453.posterous.com/communicate-collaborate-create
A simple overview of what the device should do to impact our school. It ties in directly to other work we are doing so the iPad is seen as supportive of current practice and nothing different and to get the staff on board it can not be put out as a new initiative, it is supportive of current practice and simply enhances what we currently do.

Stage 4
…………………..
Don’t rush things, get it right, cover all bases

Hope this helps

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