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IT News Thread, Essa Academy: Bookless school where everyone has iPad in Other News; Originally Posted by localzuk What about with things like iCloud and video files? Or some other way of backing up ...
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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    What about with things like iCloud and video files? Or some other way of backing up student work?
    Shouldn't be a problem. We've had 45+ iPads working on our wireless in our dining room. Cant be sure what they were doing, but there was no noticeable slowdown.

    Windows machines on the other hand would have caused a problem in the past in that area. The bottleneck was usually when they logged on not during actual usage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Shouldn't be a problem. We've had 45+ iPads working on our wireless in our dining room. Cant be sure what they were doing, but there was no noticeable slowdown.

    Windows machines on the other hand would have caused a problem in the past in that area. The bottleneck was usually when they logged on not during actual usage.
    Your example doesn't clarify anything though - you don't know what they were doing!

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    The main reason the video shouted "hmmm, sure" at me was it only featured 2 members of staff. The head (salesman) and a clear advocate - probably a governing teacher, SLT member or ICT coordinator. I'd love to also hear some feedback from the *real* teachers. The day to day members of staff who maybe aren't quite so keen to be "on call" 24/7. Those that perhaps are not 100% sure. Please don't make the assumption I think it's wholly silly, I like the idea, but I also like to see *THE TRUTH AND THE WHOLE TRUTH*. It is 100% obvious that this isn't the case at least from that video.

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    The dailygloom artical does say that at the school in that artical has had its best exam results for 48 years, attendance is at its highest, and behaviour is better than it was. So they must have an impact.

    I am watching this very closely because since 2009 we have had a 1:1 ratio of netbooks for years 9,10 and 11 (our GCSE years) and they work well, and are liked. Problem is netbooks are going to be stopped being made soon and looks like were going to have to go down the tablet route, but there are no cheap Windows tablets (yet).

    On the netbooks we use Sibelius, 2D Design, Office, Dance eJay, and websites like My Maths, i just do not see how we could achieve at the moment what we do on the netbooks with the ipad. Do kids really want to type essays on a touch screen? and i do not fancy running Sibelius over RDP... hopefully we can still get netbooks cheap when April comes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    The dailygloom artical does say that at the school in that artical has had its best exam results for 48 years, attendance is at its highest, and behaviour is better than it was. So they must have an impact.
    The XKCD has a perfect cartoon for this comment...

    correlation.png

    I am watching this very closely because since 2009 we have had a 1:1 ratio of netbooks for years 9,10 and 11 (our GCSE years) and they work well, and are liked. Problem is netbooks are going to be stopped being made soon and looks like were going to have to go down the tablet route, but there are no cheap Windows tablets (yet).
    There are other options. For example Chromebooks. They're cheaper than tablets, and IMO more functional, and they include Flash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    The dailygloom artical does say that at the school in that artical has had its best exam results for 48 years, attendance is at its highest, and behaviour is better than it was. So they must have an impact.
    I noticed that. They said that the same iPads keep getting broken - repeat offenders, and they have problems with year's 7 and 8. My first thoughts where, instead of rubbishing the idea maybe the school need to look at their policies? Why do they keep giving the kids who insist on breaking them devices? Why let KS3 pupils take the devices home or keep them in their bags? If they are getting the exam results using the devices then maybe the answer is to look at discipline and policies rather than saying they are too expensive because some kids might break them?

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    HAS IT IMPROVED GRADES?

    To me iPads can still not do what PC's can in the educational market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichB View Post
    HAS IT IMPROVED GRADES?

    To me iPads can still not do what PC's can in the educational market.
    And yet to others they can. Have a look at the work by Fraser Spiers for a starting point.

    As with any significant change to how a school operates the iPads are not the only thing which will have had an affect, so it is often difficult to say that x technology has made the difference. The closest you can say is that x technology has contributed to the difference, either directly via the specific use or indirectly by facilitating change in other areas of the school (removing printing, forcing greater use of online resources, etc). This applies to *all* technology ... not just iPads or other tablet devices.

    I would be interested to see what others think about the SAMR model when looking at introducing new tech / changing tech.

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    I'm not sure where the extra work involved comes from, apart from the initial setting up and a few queries - I've hardly seen any of the 40 odd we dished out (probably not being used) We certainly haven't rolled out ATVs to every class (The projectors are ancient - really needs a HDMI connection etc) They more or less look after themselves, so much so the powers that be have decided to possibly do away with half the IT staff (2 of us)...

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    The main reason the video shouted "hmmm, sure" at me was it only featured 2 members of staff. The head (salesman) and a clear advocate - probably a governing teacher, SLT member or ICT coordinator. I'd love to also hear some feedback from the *real* teachers. The day to day members of staff who maybe aren't quite so keen to be "on call" 24/7. Those that perhaps are not 100% sure. Please don't make the assumption I think it's wholly silly, I like the idea, but I also like to see *THE TRUTH AND THE WHOLE TRUTH*. It is 100% obvious that this isn't the case at least from that video.
    Have to agree again, having purchased frog here some staff are still unhappy about it. I have spent some time with these staff and one of them simply was not happy about a very small thing (not being able to set a single piece of homework to multiple classes on different dates), another member of staff admitted to not wanting to do things any different. I have spent time with staff who actually come up with ideas on what they can use Frog for their classes.

    I like the idea of tablets for everyone but I just worry about the real financial backing and planning. Let's face it most staff don't know anything about technology but tend to be the ones who dictate the budget and the planning.

    The school has said that grades etc are getting better, could this be the iPads or simply because the kids are not forgetting their pens/books? Or is it having the ability to easily email the teacher? Does the school it self improve every year anyway? Is it because the staff are putting more effort in to producing materials and not just getting it from the same text book?

    Don't get me wrong I do think it can be very useful to have tablets for all kids. The ability to easily access all their work from home or any location, online interactive resources which attracts their attention and better communication with their teachers. Reasons why we got Frog (which took me a while to accept that VLE/Frog was the way forward).

    The article in regards to damages over one year - is insane that almost half are broken after 12 months! This apparently has been solved by getting different cases.

    I know its been said for years that every kid will have a device at school, most of the kids here have their own mobiles compared to when I was their age and I am not that old!. Most of the kids have internet access as well - again compared to what 10 years ago? When I was 16 I can't remember anyone having a mobile. People who have never had technology now have access to facebook too like my mother who struggles to know how to switch it on.

    So in the end is it really the iPads that have improved grades or just scrapping the idea of pens/paper and having access to everything eletronically anywhere?

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    At my last school we were hailed as one of the AAL leading lights, and if you went by all of the school, Microsoft and various educational articles, AAL was the best thing since sliced bread. But I recall being interviewed, and when asked about problems I related several thorny issues to them...and it came as no surprise that none of these comments made the final copy. Sandwiched between the apparent Utopia of Essa on one hand, and the pile of rubble at Honywood on the other, lies the real truth I suspect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Why do they keep giving the kids who insist on breaking them devices? Why let KS3 pupils take the devices home or keep them in their bags? If they are getting the exam results using the devices then maybe the answer is to look at discipline and policies rather than saying they are too expensive because some kids might break them?
    Surely the school doesn't have any option but to give them back to the student? if they are supposed to be 1:1, then not giving them to students who breaks them means they are not 1:1 and the teacher has to make a separate lesson plan for those students without a device, which they'll hate.

    If the students don't take them home, when do they get a chance to recharge the device? Fit 30 power sockets in all classrooms beside the desks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    As with any significant change to how a school operates the iPads are not the only thing which will have had an affect, so it is often difficult to say that x technology has made the difference. The closest you can say is that x technology has contributed to the difference, either directly via the specific use or indirectly by facilitating change in other areas of the school (removing printing, forcing greater use of online resources, etc).
    Something I suspect, but not sure how you would prove, is that the use of tablet devices encourage a change in learning/teaching style that in turn is what is possibly effecting the end results. I think the real move is not towards 1:1 devices but away from victorian rote based learning by osmosis. The 1:1 devices are effectively saying to a student "you are in charge of your own education". The student dictates and decides what to research not the teacher (obviously within boundaries (that the more able would push against) set by the teacher). There may be other way of achieving the same results without using technology, but there (to my mind) is something about tablets that just encourages this paradigm shift.

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    One thing I do like is the head's insistence that (obviously on top of their filtering) they are teaching the students to make a conscious decision about the time they spend with their iPads and how they use them. It's not really any different to teaching kids that it's their future and they should be learning from their coursebooks rather than drawing hats and moustaches onto the sperms in their biology book. This is something I'd like to see pushed more.

    Again though, looking at the "stereotypical classroom" shown in that video, I don't think you could apply those values to every school - it's not a one size fits all setup, certainly. I wonder if it's worth firing off a FoI request to them to get some more detail - ok they've saved on coursebooks, physical media etc but what's the cost of licensing, the replacements they use on the devices, cost of ICT support, maintenance, warranty/insurance etc and no doubt there's something I've missed.

    As said, it would be lovely to see the full picture. The trouble is, none of us can really make a full judgement (and let's be honest - should we be?) until we've got that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Something I suspect, but not sure how you would prove, is that the use of tablet devices encourage a change in learning/teaching style that in turn is what is possibly effecting the end results. I think the real move is not towards 1:1 devices but away from victorian rote based learning by osmosis. The 1:1 devices are effectively saying to a student "you are in charge of your own education". The student dictates and decides what to research not the teacher (obviously within boundaries (that the more able would push against) set by the teacher). There may be other way of achieving the same results without using technology, but there (to my mind) is something about tablets that just encourages this paradigm shift.
    There is some research into this and I would refer folk at this point to NAACE and MIRANDANET as places for this. There will be some talks around this at BETT so I'll keep an eye out for anything that might be handy for folks looking into things, but remember that most research is a) aimed at other academics, b) focuses on the educational benefits / change rather than the techie side of things and c) is like reading Proust at times! ... a lot of stuff, in a strange language (at times) but there are some good nuggets in there!

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