iPads in Scottish School
Fraser Speirs has boldly gone to a new frontier of technology in education and introduced 120 iPads in a Scottish School. It is only a small school but every pupil has an iPad on which to do their school work and from what he tells me it has been a huge success.
In this interview, which was published previously on the Amazing iPad Podcast, Fraser tells me of the trials and tribulations of giving an iPad to very student in the school and allowing some of them to take them home. There are something like seven airport extreme base stations in the school, They are needed because the school is in an old building with thick walls.
Fraser is a Mac developer and it seemed a no brainer when it came to deciding to have technology in the school that would be more accessible than the room full of Macs that were there already. Fraser talks about choosing applications for the teachers and students to use, one of the apps that he recommends because it was so successful in the school, is the app called brushes. I would give Brushes a go myself but I just bought ArtStudio which covers my needs in that area.
Fraser was telling me that they have spot checks to make sure that appropriate material doesn’t find it’s way on to the students’ iPads. Well scallywags will sometimes be scallywags whatever tech they are using.
Frasers’ recently said on his blog about the iPads in the school….
The iPad will not create successful learners by itself. We are finding, however, that the increased relevance of iPad-based teaching is producing increased levels of engagement both in class and with homework and study at home. Engagement is a necessary condition for success but it is not, alone, sufficient.
We often get questions like “well, how do you know your pupils are learning when you teach with the iPad?”. The answer, usually, is “the same ways we know pupils are learning when we teach with textbooks, paper, whiteboards, multiple-choice tests, art materials or newspapers”.
What the iPad has allowed us to do is to bring digital resources up to the same level of availability as paper resources in our teaching. It’s unthinkable that pupils would only have one or two hours of access to books each week, yet that was the position with digital resources before we deployed the iPad.
Congratulations on the success of the experiment
I say – Well done Fraser, and I look forward to reading more about how the bold move you have made has gone and what news we can look forward to in the future with the iPad in the school project.
Viewfinder by Fraser Spiers
Fraser is a programmer too and one of his applications for the ipad is called Viewfinder, which gives a way to search and download photos from Flickr.
David Allen – Podcaster and writer