Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How to Support My Teachers with our 1:1 Initiative?

Image from teach.com post

In my last post I shared that we are going 1:1 with iPads in all of our preschool through 5th grade classrooms in our building. Now, my question is how can I lead/support my teachers to use them in meaningful ways to transform learning? We are fortunate to have an Instructional Media Specialist that is extremely helpful in supporting teachers to try a new tool. We also will be investing in training from Certified Apple Trainers. But what can I do?

This past year I did go into a few different classrooms with the iPad cart to "borrow a class of guinea pigs" to try out new apps that I had learned about from my Twitter PLN. I had read about how the app was used in the classroom and wanted to try it in the classroom, while also exposing the teacher to it. I have always felt it has been important for me to not just be in classrooms observing, but to teach and support teachers as well. My goal in this was to also model for teachers to take risks, try new things and reflect/share with colleagues on what worked/what didn't work.

In my Friday Focus post each week I have also included a section called "Blogs, Pins & Tweets...Oh My!" where I often include ideas on using the iPads.

Over the summer I hope to continue to learn and answer this question: What else can I do to encourage, support and lead teachers with the iPads? Here are some of my current ideas, but I hope some of my PLN (Professional Learning Network) will share ideas with me as well:

  • Start a wikispace this summer to start adding resources/ideas to. I would also give teachers access so they can add to this as well. I just need to figure out how to organize the wiki (i.e. blogs, apps, grade level?)
  • Continue to find app ideas for teachers to use themselves on their iPads. My iPad has become an extension of my arm in terms of how useful it is to me everyday. I'd like to continue to share how it can be a beneficial tool for them.  How can teachers that work with just a few students at a time on specific skills use theirs? For example, our reading interventionists that follows a very prescriptive intervention program will likely not be using the iPads with students, but I'm sure there are productivity apps they would personally benefit from.
  • Always incorporate teacher iPads in our staff meetings somehow. I'd like to plan ahead and create a google doc for each month's staff meeting agenda, post it on my staff blog and have a part of the agenda be for a staff member to share an app or iPad use from their classroom.
Where will I keep finding my ideas to share with teachers?

Please share if you have any ideas to help me!


  1. I think one of the important things is don't get bogged down buying extras. Get good cases with sturdy corner padding. I have had people spend money buying bookstands, styluses, and keyboards only to have them go to waste. BUT you also have to make sure to think of accommodations for your special needs students. They may need a keyboard or a stylus. I am excited for you, reach out to me on the Twitters whenever @ipadsammy is here for you!

  2. I'm not sure if you've heard of Mindy Newell @ http://iintegratetechnology.blogspot.com but she is amazing! She has tons of ideas on her blog on how she uses iPads with her 2nd graders! She'd be a great source to share with your teachers.

    A Pirates Life for Us

  3. @PrincipalJ: I'm excited for you! I think it's great that you are so front and center in your tech deployment - kudos! I've found that teachers love small bits of instruction with time for practice. My teachers came in for 20 minutes of their lunch once each week. For 10 minutes I demonstrated or we talked about an app (or a group that all accomplished the same task, like whiteboards) and its uses, and for the remaining 10, they played with it and talked among themselves about using it in their own classroom. After surveying them at the end of the year, the one other thing they would like to have are written instructions. I'm thinking I won't be reinventing the wheel for all of this. Perhaps sending along a link to a doc (from my PLN!)or video before the meeting will suffice. They can then print as needed. Ask questions! @MatthewWeld

  4. @PrincipalJ : This is indeed exciting!

    I want you to know about Frolyc (www.frolyc.com) - a new teaching & learning environment where teachers can author learning activities that accompany lessons easily & quickly and also share these with other teachers. Teachers can assign these activities to students and students will then work on these activities on Frolyc's free iPad app.
    I urge you to visit www.frolyc.com for details. The environment has been designed & developed for K-5.
    I am the founder of Frolyc and would be thrilled to talk to you on how you can go about using Frolyc in your classrooms.

  5. It sounds like you're already doing great stuff.

    Having taught in a 1:1 school, I learned that tech integration is only as strong as the curriculum it supports. In my new school (not yet 1:1), technology is used to consume information more than to create, collaborate, or communicate. We are also working at creating curriculum units with authentic assessments.

    When the authentic assessments are solid, teachers can connect the assessments with the creation & collaboration tools that are suggested in PD sessions and in posts like your Friday Focus post.

    It all comes together in the end :)


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