Early Doors

Kids have only been back in school for three days, but things seem to be going ok with the Great Smartboard Experiment.

Here are some things I’ve noticed:

  • There have been no complaints from teachers (well to me anyway…!) about the lack of Smart Notebook. There was a lot of  murmuring before the change about how it would be such a disaster etc., but now we’ve begun, it seems that teachers have found that using Explain Everything and a mirrored iPad isn’t so bad after all.
  • Some of the die-hard naysayers of Explain Everything have even told me that they love it!  Things like the laser pointer are really handy.
  • Nearly all teachers are giving Explain Everything a go.  I noticed that one teacher was using their own MacBook and Notebook on the first day, but it turned out that they had just forgotten to bring in their iPad that day…
  • Continuing staff training is still needed, such as with getting the hand of AirPlay mirroring or making use of how Explain Everything stops the iPad display from going to sleep.
  • Sometimes just using the Mac and PowerPoint or Safari and YouTube does the job fine.

I probably should do some more in-depth enquiries into what’s working for teachers, and what could work even better.  In many ways this is quite a seismic change to classroom practice and I think it will need continuing vision-casting and support.

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Explaining Explain Everything

Today, as part of some INSET, I did some training with staff on how to use their iPads instead of their SMARTboards. It started off with some explanation of the reasons for the nice away from Notebook, and then some time exploring features of Explain Everything. We had two streams: one for those completely new to the app and those with a bit more experience.

I took the group who’d already had some training. These were the teachers who weren’t new to the school and so there was potentially resistance to this change. But I think people were reasonably open, particularly when fears were assuaged with cool things like importing/exporting to our school shared drive via WebDAV and “triple tap to overlap”. Oh, and capacitive styluses!

We shall see how it all goes as term begins…