iPads Can Really Do That?!

Computing is not only a fast-paced, ever-developing subject of its own, but technology offers resources that can support every area of the curriculum. Is there an area of your whole-school development plan that would benefit from the use of technology?

I have a friend who recently spent an obscene amount of money on a waterproof jacket. He wears it only for best and to go skiing, when the weather’s nice or snowing lightly. He wouldn’t dream of wearing it to walk the dog, not even when the rain is pouring down and he comes back soaked to the skin?! Searching for the ‘holding head in hands’ emoji!!

My point is, when we have a piece of equipment that’s made perfectly for a particular job, and you’re left soggy and damp (aka not enough money for extra resources) you’re not getting the benefits of what you’ve invested in. Bonkers!!

The same applies to iPads. Currently there are hundreds just sat on shelves in schools across the country gathering dust and used occasionally with a few apps in computing lessons. Yet the iPad store is awash with FREE and low-cost apps and resources that support learning across the curriculum. That means you can access more at little or even no extra cost! From numeracy and literacy exercises to class history and geography projects, the ways in which iPads can help bring subjects to life and produce spectacular pieces of work, are endless. Here’s a fantastic example:

One inspirational, local school wanted to be more inclusive of parents who had a particular interest in gaming so that they could be involved in their child’s learning. The school arranged a visit of the local archives for children and their parents so that they could understand more about the history of mining in the local community. After gathering all of the information they needed, supported by their parents the children put together a movie, ‘A Day in The Life of A Miner’ using Lego and iPads. The results are incredible both from a parent-child relationship point of view and the learning that took place!

It makes a lot of sense that approaching 2020, organisations are conscious of their carbon footprint. Going digital not only helps with the reduction of printing and distribution costs but opens up a world of more engaging and more flexible resources. The web and app stores are ideal platforms for education companies to create more interactive and engaging apps that are accessible to schools and parents across the globe!  When there’s so many resources, how do you know which are worth using?

When you know your iPad well, you can use it in the most slick, efficient and confident way to help squeeze every minute of learning out of the lesson!

Cue…Using iPads to Improve Literacy, Numeracy & Computing training with Mark Anderson!

Not only is time for research and training important, it’s great to be able to learn from someone who is both an experienced teacher and also highly experienced educational technologist. Mark Anderson, aka @ICTEvangelist (Apple, Google & Microsoft certified) is an edtech pioneer. He delivers a range of technology programmes across the globe to support schools’ aims.

Facilitated by ABtec for the benefit of primary schools, during Autumn 2018 Mark delivered a bespoke, three-part training course, focusing on the use of iPads to support literacy, numeracy and computing.

Pre-loaded with the latest iOS and a plethora of apps, 20 teachers gathered with their iPads for each of the three sessions. Settling themselves comfortably in the school community room, equipped with a CTOUCH interactive screen and Apple TV so that everyone had a great view of the magic taking place.

Session 1 focused on the choice of apps available and whittled them down to the ones that deliver the greatest impact in primary classrooms. There are also lots of in-built functions in the iOS itself that enable teachers to use iPads really efficiently and creatively and pupils to create well-researched, beautiful and well-presented pieces of work.

The second and third sessions focused specifically on literacy, numeracy and computing. Teachers really appreciated being shown practical examples of how they can work in classrooms and being able to get to grips with them. Being able to play around in a safe space meant that they were able to go straight back to their classes and start to put everything they’d learned into action! Some teachers have already been able to earn all of their badges and achieve their Apple Teacher accreditation!!

All of the trainees were so enthused and went away not only with inspiration, but with skills that they can put straight into use in the classroom. What’s important now is that the skills are shared with the whole school. The more familiar and confident teachers become using iPads as a medium or teaching tool, the more resources it opens up for learning. Here’s what they said:

“Fantastic apps that I used immediately back in school. The ‘playing’ time meant that sessions were very practical.”

“Download various apps to enhance lessons and involve cross-curricular.”

“Simple use of apps that have big impact.”

 

How can my school move forward with technology?

Not only are the certificates flooding in from teachers having gained their Apple Teacher recognition (absolutely FREE), but we have a forum to help support schools with their aims. Let us know if you’d like to be part of it by emailing info@abtec.net

ABtec can work with you and your ICT lead to look at how technology can be used effectively as a platform to support learning across the curriculum and in meeting whole-school targets. Start the conversation by emailing info@abtec.net with a date and time that suits you to get together……

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