I had an email from a school recently. I thought I would record my response here as it illustrates my thinking on an approach schools seem to sometimes take to technology purchases generally and ipads in particular.
The school said they were looking into purchasing some IPads for students within school and were wondering if I could offer any advice or point them in the right direction.
They were seeking answers to three specific questions at this point:
- What IPads are being used for and how they can enhance learning?
- Which model IPad is the most popular within other schools?
- Are other schools using Macbooks for synching/updating etc?
I replied as follows:
I am sure you appreciate that these are *big* questions that you are asking and perhaps not the easiest to answer in an email. Having said that, I’ll do my best.
What IPads are being used for and how they can enhance learning? rtg casino canada
This is *huge*. Where do I start? Really the question could be asked more broadly about ‘technology’ and the answer would be wide and complex. In a way, it would be helpful for the school to undertake some visioning of how they want technology to integrate and support the learning experience and then consider whether ipads might be part of this. Many schools mistakenly start their thinking with the device and then on to how it might support learning. In some ways this is the wrong way round. I have a little further reading on ios considerations and deployments in school here: http://bitly.com/bundles/dughall/k but this is merely a drop in the ocean.
Which model IPad is the most popular within other schools?
Again, I wonder if this question is coming from thinking that is the right way round. What is it you want to achieve? Then ask which device will best suit the vision. Why ipad? Why not an alternative tablet? Why not Android? Windows 8? Why not netbooks? Laptops? Ipods? Why not a mixture? Again, ask yourselves: 1. What do you want to do? and then 2. What will help you do it?
Are other schools using Macbooks for synching/updating etc?
Yes. Or an iMac. There is no doubt that the deployment of large numbers of ios devices is greatly helped by having a MacOS PC (laptop or desktop).
It does worry me that some schools seem to be getting their thinking a bit ‘back to front’. Of course, for large purchases, it would be appropriate for for school governors to ask a question that I always find helpful: “What was the thinking behind this decision?” and the associated: “What alternatives were considered?” and “Does this represent the best value for money?”