This past school year, the administration at my school (Trinity Valley) announced that they would be rolling out a 1:1 iPad program for faculty. All members of the K-12 faculty (and some stuff) would be issued an iPad 3. In the next few days, I expect to have my hot little hands on this innovative device. I currently own an iPad 1st generation and have written about the ways I use it in the class (“How I’m Using my iPad as a Teaching Tool“). The iPad has been more than a novelty or a “toy,” it has truly revolutionized education and how we consume information. Educators have been finding new and innovative ways to employ this device in and out of the classroom. To learn more about the iPad as an innovative educational tool, see Apple’s iPad for education website.
What makes the roll out at Trinity Valley so unique (in my opinion) is the very low pressure method in which it is being laid out. The stated goal of our Head of School, Gary Krahn, Ph.D., for the first year is to simply allow educators to familiarize themselves with the product, professional development, and even a bit of “fun.”
- There will be no filters or restrictions on the iPads. Teachers get to treat them as ‘their own,’ sync with their home computer, and add apps as they see fit. Reimbursements for educational applications will also be made.
- There will be no forced pedagogical adaption. We will not have to use them in the classroom or replace our primary computers.
- Professional development will be done at each instructor’s own pace with many free and flexible workshops (webinars, after school, 1 on 1, etc).
The overall agenda for the first year is to get faculty familiar and comfortable with the technology. This is a relatively new approach for technological adaptions at schools where a 1:1 implement comes with a stated professional development timeline and expectations for immediate application. As many of us working in educational technology recognize, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is the trepidation that educators feel when faced with a perceived daunting tool. This method removes a lot of the pressure.
I’m not going to lie, I’m very excited to get my hands on this new tool and see what the faster processor and retina display can do!