iPad in PE, an obvious decision!

Having taught PE using iPad since it first came out in 2010 I have seen it grow rapidly as a tool to support teaching and learning.

Having purchased one for personal use I could straight away see the opportunities it lent for me as a teacher with no fixed classroom.  All of a sudden I had access to information wherever I was round the school.  iPad 1 had its limitations though, viagra namely the lack of a camera, here but even without this it allowed me to make notes on learning, share videos with students about model technique and numerous other things to support my teaching, even simply planning and evaluating lessons on the go.

Then came iPad 2 and the camera.  This changed everything and I knew straight away that this was the way forward for the whole of the department.

After some testing of its use in my own lessons I soon looked to get iPad in the hands of the whole department.  This however is the place that many fall short in.  It is easy to convince people that you should have these devices, and fairly cost effective to purchase them (when you think of the things they replace) but there is much more to the use of iPad than simply owning one.

CPD and infrastructure.

Now when we look at infrastructure I am assuming that wifi is in place in the school, the infrastructure I will discuss is the way that information is shared from the device, how staff interact with other staff and the pupils.  All too often I am asked about storage.  These are the things that need to be sorted out before you make your purchase.  To this end I looked at a variety of options, Dropbox, Box, Evernote and Google Drive were all thoroughly tested before I made a decision on the one that was most fit for purpose.  I opted for Google Drive due to the ability to live edit documents, this was a great way of allowing students to see feedback without having to print things out.  The paperless classroom was a reality.

So task one complete?

Not really, this behind the scenes infrastructure is what holds the use of the devices together so needs to be properly invested in by all of the staff.  I decided that an internal CPD model was needed to ensure that all staff were trained up in using just this system so that the management of information on the devices did not become an issue.  Teachmeets, training buddies, drop in sessions etc were all set up along with blogs to support and screencasts.  All of this gave staff a place to feel confident in using the device.  There were 12 staff in the department so making this work meant meeting all of their needs.

So what next?

Pedagogy!  Why were we using the iPad?  I showed staff some of the apps that I had used and engaged students in discussing the effect it had on them in their learning.  The need to put the pedagogy first is essential, the iPad alone will do nothing.  We looked at the way we were teaching and at first we looked at the use of iPad in BTEC sessions to support learning, allowing the capturing of evidence to support EAL learners and to give feedback in a better way.

Use of video to capture activity.

Coachnote to support planning drills etc.

Audioboo to document discussions.

We also looked at ways that using the device could not only support but also transform learning.  I introduced flipped learning to the team and in small steps they worked with individual classes to impact on learning.  We launched Edmodo to our KS3 as a way to get students learning at home.  Creating videos or sharing model videos from youtube and getting students to comment on what they are watching, that way they engage more in the learning.

In all (and this by no means is all we did) the department was transformed.  It took us from a standard department to a very forward thinking department that was engaging students beyond the classroom.  CPD was essential in this model.  It is easy to have ideas but the CPD to support development and have it based around a model is a no brainer.  I used iTunes U as a model to support CPD, it is a simple tool to share information with staff.

iTunes U allows you to engage others using their iPad and store video, documents and apps but in a structured way to help support peoples development.

Lots of information here and hopefully you can see why I think using iPad and Google is an obvious decision.  But remember, pedagogy is still at the heart and you need to get that bit right first.

Please get in touch if I can help in any way


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