iPad Pilot – Take Two. Aims, Apps and Ambitions

The TCFS iTunes Card Mural

Well, it’s less than a week until the new students taking part in our pilot repeat arrive to begin their education journey with iPads at Trinity College Foundation Studies. Our preparation, as you can read in earlier posts, has focused on training our teachers, exploring new approaches to teaching and learning, and maximising student engagement. We’ve been pondering not only the logistics of implementation, distribution, and management, but also paying close attention to how we will be using iPads in the classroom, and how to best meet the needs of our particular students. It’s not all about the apps. Still, we’d like to share with you our app list for this Pilot – take two.

Foundation Studies students come to us from over twenty countries. They have diverse first languages, and have very different experiences of teaching and learning. English language improvement and mastery is one of our primary student learning objectives. That focus is one reason for the inclusion of an advanced learners dictionary on our apps list. Even though it seems expensive as far as apps go, the cost is comparable with the same book in paper version, and a lot lighter to travel with. Compared with the dictionary used by students in previous years, however, the cost is reduced by over 50 percent, and the iPad app comes equipped with audio, important for new language learners. For Trinity, the decision to move to an iPad curriculum has not been taken lightly, and has been considered in terms of our physical campus, our students’ backgrounds and learning needs, and the supporting infrastructure we have, and are developing.

Yet, there has been much discussion among educators and education technologists about the suitability of iPads for classroom learning, and much of this discussion is divided.  Opinions either applaud the opportunities for connected, mobile, and social forms of information gathering, sharing, critique, and creativity, or they are sceptical of deploying what seems to be a fashionable accessory to decorate the serious, and expensive business of education. However the learning opportunities for our students take priority, and we will continue to research and evaluate this second pilot across a range of measures. See here for a draft Table of Contents of the Literature Review guiding our research objectives.

We will keep you updated about the experiences which come from this second pilot, and will aim to post here regularly some insights into what is happening in the classrooms, including voices from both teachers and students.

The future is exciting …

Apps for TCFS August and September Students, 2011. (Note: prices are in Australian dollars.)

Must Have iPad Applications: All Students

September Students Only

Chemistry

Mathematics

Physics

Must Have Books

  • iPad User Guide (purchased from within the iBooks Store in the iBooks app), Free

Optional Applications You Might Like

One thought on “iPad Pilot – Take Two. Aims, Apps and Ambitions

  1. I look forward to reading feedback on the Comicbook app as it looks like it has exciting possibilities for exploring abstract concepts in both image and language.

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