Taking School iPad PD to New Heights

  Before the end of school one of my principals who has been following all of the technology related things I do inside of school and out approached me about coming up with new professional development opportunities for the iPads. He is interested in getting more iPads for the school for next year and wanted to bring more unique opportunities for teachers to learn how to integrate them into their classrooms. I was very thrilled to have this project put on my shoulders, it’s exciting to finally use what I’ve learned and what I’ve been doing on a national level in my school district. I really want to do a good job with this to impress him, so I decided to put my current ideas out there and get some feedback! 

When planning PD opportunities (I run Music Ed Motivation Day too) I think about how I want the attendee to walk away. Are they going to have their minds completely blown, are they going to walk away confident, are they going to have good resources to use? Starting from the result to the beginning helps me form how I want get across the end result. It was a cool challenge to work on this from a different aspect other than a music technology standpoint. I broke it up into 4 different categories:

  • Basics of iOS Computing
  • Hardware
  • Apps For All
  • Activities to Integrate/ Creating School Wide Rules and Procedures

What I was thinking was to take these 4 categories and use them as topics for 2 or 4 different meetings. Each meeting optional and you can pick and choose based on your needs, there are many techie people in this school and I don’t want to waste their time with basics if they already know it.

The first two categories would be for beginners to attend mainly just going over basic iPad operation such as turning it on, going between apps, the different settings, and what kinds of different hardware can come with them and different ways to project the iPad for a whole classroom. These would be really basic for those who have not had much practice on the iPads, going over accessories, and basic operation with plenty of practice and possibly a little project would be the main points for this section.

The second two would be more for the advanced who just want to gain more information, share what they know, and create new resources to use around the school. These last two would be more focused on creating a sharing environment for technology so teachers would get use to sharing what they know with others in the school they might not see everyday. We would create a sharable document of apps divided up by subject and grade level, plan lessons to do in class that would involve integrating iPads in a meaningful way, and create a set of common rules and procedures for using the iPads in class so students have the consistency when using technology anywhere in the school.

With these meetings I thought about the one thing I hear a lot of teachers say after a PD experience, “How am I going to continue getting this help?” so I thought about extra support too in-between everything. Other than the obvious inperson assistance and by email. I also considered two other options, one being a pinterest board I have started with lots of pins about iPads in education. Pinterest has been rumbling between the teachers in school this year and I thought it would be cool to use it to my advantage. The link to the board is here: http://pinterest.com/musiccargirl14/ipad-pd/ if you would like to be a pinner on this board please leave a comment and I would love to add you so you can help contribute to make this a top notch resource.

The other PD option I was thinking about was integrating the iPad club that had started in my room prior to the end of school. What I was thinking was continuing that tradition but having it open for teachers to come in and join the students as they explore the apps so they become more comfortable using it with students in a small setting and they can use it in a larger setting without hesitation.

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    Those are my beginning ideas, I still have a lot to think about and mull over but what do you think? If you had the opportunity to create a unique PD experience with iPads what would you do?

2 thoughts on “Taking School iPad PD to New Heights

  1. Excellent post, Katie. I think it’s very valuable to encourage the Pinterest sharing amongst the teachers, so they can get to be part of the conversation. Most of the fun of the iPad is finding new apps, and the low price of most apps makes it much less of a risk to try something which may or may not be a bust. There is of course, a Pinterest app, which people can use on their iPads, and it works very well. Professional Development without follow-up is malpractice, so you must include these and other ways of encouraging teachers to continue the dialogue after any face-to-face meetings.

    • Thank you for the words of wisdom Richard! I’m trying to find new ways for follow up. Our tech integrator for the district uses Google groups but after a week or so the posting tends to fall to the wayside. I’m hoping things like pinterest will keep the conversations going indefinitely!

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