What’s the point of iPad?

If you go to any sort of Apple in Education event/conference/briefing, they often say that you should be really clear about the aims of any sort of technology deployment. This way you can then evaluate whether your deployment is working well or not.

Here are some of the aims (sometime conscious, sometimes unconscious) for the different stages of our technology rollout in school.


Purpose: provide computers that could do movie-editing and just generally worked (didn’t get viruses/fail to turn on most days).
Success?  Tick!

Teacher Mac Minis

Purpose: extend familiarity of OS X to teachers and therefore children, provide a bit more reliability.  Whilst supporting 4:3 screen ratios and not being too expensive.
Success? Mainly. The fact they had to run with ageing monitors/smartboards/projectors/sound systems made the experience rather less that wonderful.

Teacher 1:1 iPads

Purpose: familiarity with iOS, teacher exploration of new apps.
Success? Yes! Plus the bonus of teachers using email much, much more often.  And we got to try out the Great Smartboard Experiment.

Class sets of iPad minis

Purpose: more provision of computers to enable use of ICT across the curriculum.
Success? Moderate. It is happening, but not as much as it could.

So, how do we take our iPad deployment (for the kids) to the next level?

Some ideas…

  • Work out exactly how can iPad help with learning in English and Maths
  • Do some staff training on that
  • Support teachers

We’ve got a day with Julian Coultas in a week or so (courtesy of Toucan) where I’m hoping we can work out how to best move things forward.  Stay tuned!