Pilot Report Findings and Phase Two

We are just now into the second exciting phase of the ‘Step Forward’ iPad Pilot Project. 2011 will see all teaching, and many administrative staff at Trinity College Foundation Studies in possession of an iPad. This is going to be a year of much sharing of expertise and ideas, as well as a steep learning curve for most of us. The range of subjects taught with iPads in Phase Two will expand from the original subjects: English for Academic Purposes, Physics, Chemistry, Literature, History of Ideas, Drama, Environment and Development, Economics, and Maths 1, to now include Media and Communications, Accounting, Psychology, Maths 2, and Biology.

I include myself in the general mass for whom integrating a new technology into our work practices is a challenging undertaking. Under normal conditions I teach Literature. However, the departure of Mark Dorset to his exciting new role led to me being offered a great opportunity – a secondment as Education Technology Manager to support staff throughout this year of change.

There is a growing list of schools and educational institutions experimenting with iPads around the world, and the data arising from the first pilot studies is only now emerging. Trinity College is among the leaders forging a pathway into 1:1 mobile learning. Our report into the pilot program presents findings from the second survey administered to students and staff – and shows overwhelming endorsement of the iPad in teaching and learning.

Read more about the key findings and recommendations after the break.

Key Findings:
● Pilot project staff and August Entry students overwhelmingly recommend iPads for use by other TCFS staff and students: 76.2% of staff and 80% of students
● iPads are effective, durable, reliable and achieve their educational aims of going further, faster and with more fun
● iPads have advantages for TCFS over other technologies such as netbooks and laptops
● iPads are not a replacement for desktop/laptop computers or other educational technologies but are an enhancement
● High quality audio-visual equipment in the classroom (such as flat screen TV monitors and document cameras), along with timely IT support, are required to enable full integration and best use of the iPads. Such equipment and support are crucial if the educational aims of iPad use are to be realised rather than thwarted

Key Recommendations:
● Proceed with the roll out of iPads to all TCFS academic staff in 2011
● Incorporate iPad and related technology training for all TCFS staff in 2011
● Ensure sufficient staffing to service the technological and pedagogical needs of the program (including an Education Technology Manager and a dedicated IT staff member)
● Expand on the work of the original iPad trial and prepare for the full roll out of iPads to all staff and students by using iPads for August Entry 2011
● Proceed with the roll out of iPads to all TCFS students in 2012

A final word from a student (surveyed on 5 January 2011):

“I feel very lucky to have such a rare chance studying in a brand new way with the iPad and I’m moved by this surprising piece of new high-tech. If it is possible I really want to keep it with me and I would like to recommend to my mum cause iPad is also very helpful in our daily life. Finally, I’m looking forward that this project will be well developed in the future.”

When the full report is released, we will post a link here.

As we move further into the next phase I will let you know more about the philosophical and structural principles underlying the process of integrating iPads into our own teaching practices, and our students’ learning.

Jennifer

The iPads returned from August Entry students.

iPads rejuvenated and ready to go out to teaching staff.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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