In a way, yesterday was day 1 of our school’s 1:1 iPad initiative because, last night, most of our students came to the school to pick up their shiny new iPads. In a way, day 1 was a day in late May when we, the teachers received our iPads and began learning all about them (playing with them — best way for me to learn)! In a way, day 1 was the day our school board approved the 1:1 initiative in our school and excitement began to seep into the hallways and classrooms and students and faculty in our district. In a way, day 1 was the day our current superintendent sat and watched Travis Allen’s keynote at NETA12 and it all clicked into place. But TODAY is the day that all of our students walked into class with iPads in hand.
In addition to today being our first day of school and my first opportunity to make contact with this year’s students, it was also a day of training. Arvin Ross from iSchool Initiative (@iSchoolAdvocate) was here to help with a “boot camp” of sorts. The students though, are fearless when it comes to this tool. Unsurprisingly so, they dove in, downloading apps, using the camera (of course), and navigating the web. There was a boot camp going on, but it was a meta-boot camp and the presenter was only a small part of it. The students are going to train themselves. The students are going to train us!
Have there been kinks? Yes. Were we expecting them? Yes. Were they a big hairy deal? Nope. So far every rough spot we’ve encountered has been easily fixable and addressed with efficiency. Do we expect a little bit of chaos? Yes. Am I excited about said chaos? You better believe it. It’ll be a good kind of chaos–the kind where mistakes are made, academic risks are taken, and learning flourishes.
Let’s be realistic though. Here is what I am not expecting iPads to do for us: perform magic. We still have to use best practice and continually learn and stretch and grow. iPads are not a cure for anything in particular that ails any of us. It is a tool that, if used well, will have a positive impact on us. Education is hard work and will continue to be so; it’ll just be more fun this year!
Here is what I do expect iPads to do for us: increase engagement, make projects more efficient, expand learning outside the classroom and outside the school, and increase communication.
Today was technically day 1, but I have feeling we have a whole year of day 1’s ahead of us.
Thoughts? Tweet me: @morgetron.