Sunday, April 10, 2016

iPad Launch Blasts Off for Elementary Teachers

Beginning in mid-April, elementary teachers will receive an iPad in preparation for the One to World implementation for Pre-Kindergarten–Grade 5 students. The launch will include distribution of iPads, differentiated professional development on basics iPad use, and sample iPad-integrated lessons shared by our LaunchPad teachers.

Next school year, elementary teachers will continue their professional learning toward seamlessly weaving the iPad into their instructional practices. Eventually, iPads will blend into the learning environment, somewhat like the subjects of these photos:

It seems hard to believe that the iPad has only been around since 2010. The iPad and similar devices have been used by many of our students for the majority of their lives. Most students come into our schools with some comfort level using devices with a touch screen:

Okay—not quite—but it may feel this way sometimes.

But, fear not, because for the first time ever, teachers do not need to be the most skilled person at using the technology in their classrooms. Most of our LaunchPad teachers experienced this first-hand during their foray into their iPad-equipped classrooms this year. These teachers have shared a message focusing on the tremendously positive impact iPads have had on both instructional practices and student learning.

More and more research continues to surface in support of using the iPad as a learning tool. The eSchool News article, What does research really say about iPads in the classroom? (Ingle & Moorehead, 2016), outlines some examples of when iPad integration is most successful, including when students are given opportunities to demonstrate learning in their own ways, when iPads level the playing field for students with all types of socio-economic backgrounds, by increasing student engagement, and more.

Our journey with One to World will be focused on best practices in instruction and student learning. The first steps of iPad distribution will begin to empower teachers and students to live in the one-to-one device environment. Thanks to our LaunchPad teachers pioneering this journey and sharing their insights, all teachers in our elementary schools will benefit from these first steps.

Our continued success lies in our willingness to share our experiences. This video from Derek Sivers shares this idea:

Our LaunchPad teachers, iDAL coaches, Librarians, and all our district TPACK Team members are prepared to help us in our journey. Together, our elementary school teachers will be truly ready to blast off with our students in the Fall!

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