iPad for Learning at VCD.
The Victorian College for the Deaf is one of ten Victorian State Schools that are under going an iPad for learning trial. Every student and teacher has an iPad and the early indications of this trial are positive. The trial will be completed at the end of 2011.
Every teacher and student has their own email account synced to their device which enables students to email teachers work submitted for assessment. We have many applications installed on the iPads that cover a whole range of curriculum areas as well as personal organisational tools, thinking games, mind mapping tools, references, text books and more.
Teachers at VCD are utilizing the iPads in their lessons and are experimenting with new apps. The initial feedback from teachers has been encouraging. The instant anywhere, anytime device for learning has been invaluable in accessing visual references that help develop Deaf students' vocabulary without having to leave a classroom, go in to a computer lab and turn on computers which can be time consuming.
There has been regular professional learning time for teachers to increase their capacity to integrate iPads and technology into their classrooms.
There has been a noticible increase in student motivation with their iPads for learning. It will be interesting to see how this develops as the iPads are now going home. Obviously there is also the personal responsibility that comes with taking care of an iPad which involves charging, caring for its safety and personally organising the device that suits their individual needs.
Feedback from students about the iPad trial has been mostly very positive. They have been very quick to learn how to use the device with confidence and it is now an important part of their tool box for learning. It is important to note that the iPads do not suit everyone' learning styles and students are saying that although they are used regularly in classrooms, there is still a need for teachers working one on one with students.
Some quotes from VCD teachers:
Students are using their iPads daily , the simple visual flashcards are amazing for students with limited language.
In History, we've been practising Question Types - how, where, when, how many, who, and WHY. So, on the CORKULOUS board, each sticky note represented a different question type. Students used the sticky tape, to tape a brief answer to the questions and attached images.
Students in Maths have been using polldaddy to create surveys on a topic of their choice and embed their suvery link in an email to secondary students at VCD. They will need to collect their results to organise in numbers, create charts that will be used for analysis of their findings. They will then use Keynote to make a presentation that will be given to the class.