Monday, September 26, 2011

iPad 2 PD

Our school has bought over 20 iPad 2s and a syncing cart for the grades PK-2 to use. Middle and high school students are required to have and use MacBook Pros. 3rd to 5th grade students are allowed to use one of four MacBook Pro carts for classwork. Grades PK-2 attend my computer class twice a week, but they do not having any computing device that they can use in their classrooms. So the administrators decided to provide these grades with an iPad 2 cart. 

So I have decided to lead a professional development on the use of iPads in PK-2 grade classrooms. Through informal observations of my colleagues, I used the ACOT Stages to see what stage of technology adoption most of them were in. Then I used Roger’s Adopters to see what level of the innovation spectrum they were in.  Next I performed a needs analysis that focused on iPad use in the classroom. I administered a seven question survey to all nine PK-2nd grade teachers and three specialist teachers. Here are the questions the survey: 

  1. What do you know about iPads and their purposes?

  2. Do you think iPads can be beneficial to the classroom? Why or why not?

  3. Choose a number that you feel describes your ability and skill level in using an iPad. Choose number 1 if you have no idea hot to use an iPad. Choose number 5 if you feel you are a near iPad expert. 

  4. Provide an example of how you would use an iPad in your classroom.

  5. Would you like to be informed on how to use iPads, their benefits to student learning, and how they can be implemented into your curriculum?

  6. Do you have any worries about using iPads in your classroom (e.g. classroom management)?

  7. Is there anything you would like to see be included into iPad training and development?

The results revealed the following: 

  1. Majority of the survey participants who answered this question knows what the iPad is and what they are used for. Only two teachers stated that they did not know much about the device. 

  2. A teacher thought iPads would be useful during library timeA few teachers thought that digital media would be their primary use. The iPads would be easier to use for younger students than laptops.

  3. 100 percent of the teachers believed that iPads can be useful in their classroom.

  4. 33.3 percent believed their ability and skill level was ranked as 1. 33.3 percent believed they ranked at 3. Only one teacher (11.1 percent) ranked themselves as a 4 and two teachers (22.2 percent) believed they were near iPad experts. 

  5. Some suggestions for the use of iPads included group station work, digital art creation, portfolios, photography, writing drills, stop motion animation, and read-along stories.

  6. 88.9 percent of the teachers wanted to be informed on how to use iPads, their benefits to student learning, and how they can be implanted into your curriculum. One teacher was not sure. 

  7. Only one teacher was concerned with classroom management when students use the iPads.

  8. Two teachers wanted to know about different useful apps that are available, and one teacher wanted to know if there would be a projector adapter.

For the professional development session, I would like to divide it into three sections. The first section will be a quick demonstration of how to use an iPad and show the different features it contains. The second section will involve information on how iPads can benefit student learning. This would then lead to demonstrations of different educational apps for specific subject areas. 

I think I may ask the PK-2nd grade teachers one more question to find out what academic areas students are struggling in their classrooms. The answers to this question will provide me with a focus in my research. I would research specific apps and iPad activities that would help students who are struggling in specific academic areas. 

  • Do you see any struggles in specific academic areas from your students that would benefit from extra support?

I have emailed my principal and technology director asking if I could conduct the PD and if I would be able to have access to the iPads soon. I would also like to have access to the school’s credit card account to buy some apps onto my iPad to test them out. Hopefully I will be able conduct the PD within two weeks.

I will hopefully have permission to conduct the PD by the end of this week, and have access to the iPads the next week. I will also conduct more research for the PD during the same week and conduct the PD the following week. I hope to conduct it after the department meeting on Monday in my computer lab. The materials I will be using will be my laptop, projector, iPads, and PD handouts. I hope to provide pizza and beverages to guarantee attendance. I would ideally like for someone in my school who has been conducting PDs for many years to attend and evaluate my performance. He or she could provide me with helpful suggestions to improve my PD conducting ability. 

This whole process of conducting a PD will definitely benefit me in my handbook. For my handbook, I hope to explain how to integrate iPads into classrooms to benefit the students and teachers. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Master Project Reflection #3

I have grouped all the resources I will use into two groups.

  • Rationale for implementation

  • Process of implementation

The resources that focus on the rationale of implementation includes articles about student benefits such as, higher achievement in writing and the increase in proficiency in 21st century skills and literacy. The process of implementation includes articles that describes step-by-step method of implementing a 1:1 computing program, and also its rationale for these steps that are backed by research. I also hope to cite the textbook I am using in my EDEL 590 called The New Meaning of Educational Change by Michael Fullan. This book discusses numerous strategies that bring successful change, in this case would be the implementation of the 1:1 program. A summary of chapters 1 and 2 is in my previous post titled History of Change in Education and Strategies for Change.

It was quite confusing in the beginning to know where to cite my resources. I first thought that all my research articles would be placed in the lit review, but this was not true.

Goal of the week: I hope to at least complete 3/4 of section 1.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Here is a picture of how my New Tab page looks like. I also created a theme (background) using the Theme Creator app (its a picture of KIS). You need to go to the Pack tab and click on the “Pack and install theme” button to activate the theme. 

Google Chrome Apps Synced

So this morning Mark, the 3rd to 5th grade computer teacher, came up to me and with great enthusiasm told me about the free Google educational apps that were made for elementary school students. He also explained that these apps could be downloaded onto your Google Chrome web browser (New Tab page) and can be synced to any other computer that has Google Chrome. He thought it would be great for students to go to one place and be provided with numerous educational apps.  A web browser with numerous educational apps is a great place for students to go to after they complete the objectives of my lessons. It would be a reward and a learning opportunity for the students who use the apps. Apps are also great because they usually focus on one aspect of their education. If I know a student is having trouble in math, I can instruct him to go the math app after he finishes the objective of my lesson. This New Tab page would be used similarly to bookmarking utilities, but I think the process of downloading apps from the Web Store is much easier than looking around for different websites with learning activities on the Web.  

So that’s what I spent most of my afternoon doing, installing Google Chrome onto all the computers. First I updated Java and Adobe Reader on each computer. Second I created a new gmail account so that I could use it solely for the purpose of syncing apps. Next I downloaded as many free educational apps I believed would be beneficial to my students onto the main computer of my classroom. Then I installed Google Chrome for every computer and synced it to the new gmail account. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Master Project Reflection #2: Rationale of 1:1

So I just finished Skyping Tim Green about my master’s project. He seemed to be okay with my new topic. However, he told me to alter one aspect with my plan. He told me my focus should be more on one topic. I told him that I wanted to investigate the benefits of 1:1 computing programs, and also investigate the most effective method of implementing a program like this. Tim explained that the benefits of 1:1 would be the reason why educators should implement the program. This concept should be included in the rationale, with citations of resources, and not in the actual handbook. The handbook would be only about the effective implementation process. 

He also asked me to email him with my edited version. This leads me to what I want to accomplish for the rest of the week. 

  • Email Tim with new revised questions.

  • Use the questions to make a new outline (questions will guide the process)

  • Finish a 1st draft (hopefully)

Let’s see how it goes.