Join Laurie Burruss for an in-depth discussion in this video Checklist for deploying iPads in the classroom, part of iPad Classroom: The Basics.
So, is your school ready? It's an important thing to develop an implementation plan. There are five questions that I usually pose. Do you have WiFi access? Do you have bandwidth that is large enough to support the access by classrooms? Do you have the budget for an iPad classroom? The storage, the utility cart and all the things that go with it. The staffing, do you have momentum or interest in this project? And finally, I really believe that in any school, to get a project like this going, you have to have some evangelist, a teacher, IT support, an instructional designer, or administrator who really wants to see this project through.
Next, you should create a plan. I'm a big proponent of the one page project proposal. I really think you can get this down to five main things. The purpose of the program, the pedagogy, how it relates to the school curriculum and the mission of the school, the management, staffing, organization of it, the budget, and most importantly but often left off, is the future. Is it sustainable? Will it be able to grow? If this becomes a popular program will we be able to expand? If you can turn these five questions into a plan, you've got the beginnings of a project brief.
I'd like to share a few examples that I've seen of other institutions, and how they're creating these plans. At Socratech Seminars, this is a most referenced site for many, many school educators. It has a great, great set of questions. And really, a step by step information about how to setup for infrastructure and then, also how to setup for the academic community. I particularly like this site by KQED, it's called Mind Shift, or how we learn, because it gives the teacher the critical and strategic questions that they need to know before they go into the iPad classroom.
It's very simple to understand, it's easy to answer the questions, and by the time you've answered the ten questions you have a way to communicate, not only with your community, with your parents, but also a way to communicate with the rest of the school. For infrastructural purposes the Northern Territory government in Australia has done an elaborate implementation and project proposal that is available for you as PDFs. It's quite comprehensive. It goes through all of the questions that I've mentioned before. As even more detail about individual devices, and management, and all kinds of things that you might need to answer at your school. In addition, they provide a thorough, thorough presentation that you can present to all of the stakeholders at your school discussing how this will happen at your school.
In deciding upon a plan of action. I encourage you to go out to the site and check this out. I'm really not a fan of reinventing the wheel and there are plenty of great implementation models, and proposal forms, and different things that you can use at your school so that you can start quickly and efficiently. So in developing a checklist I actually have my own system, my own strategy. I've found in my own experience that big weighty project proposals never make it through, and never get signed off, and they don't get read. So I like to start off with a one page document that can be easily shared by email, or in teams, or at meetings.
And that they're easy to fill out within 5 to 15 minutes with yes or no answers, and with short, one word answers. So here's one I've created for infrastructure. It's really about bandwidth, support, training, policies that will need to be implemented, ownership, and the budget. I've also created one for the academic side of the house. This would be for teachers or for instructional designers. In here I go through curriculum, professional development, assessment, do the tools and the applications we're using on the iPad match what we're doing in the curriculum? And then finally, to really check for the authenticity of the program that we're designing, and that it makes sense with the apps that we've chosen.
Next, let's look at the three most common models for implementing an iPad classroom.
- Exploring common device ownership models
- Using iPads with a learning management system (LMS)
- Downloading apps
- Setting up the master sync
- Projecting from an iPad
- Printing with AirPrint
- Sharing content with Dropbox
- Creating an iPad photo gallery
- Browsing the web
- Exploring the world with Maps