We are nearly through the second full year of our 1:1 iPad project, and it has been a very busy time – thus the hiatus in posts here. After two pilots in 2010 and 2011, we are now firmly invested in continuing to be a fully 1:1 iPad college, and have seen the benefits of it for both students and teaching staff.
They are keen to get their brand new iPad out of the box and get started on purchasing some study-related apps.
Yet, with more and more tablet computers coming on to the market, I thought it might be a good time to have a look back and consider what has been behind much of the success we have seen across our programs, and at the same time address the topic of why the BYOD path is not one we are considering. The best things? Connectivity, reliability, confidence, opportunity, creativity. In a series of posts I will explore the above features one by one. This week, connectivity.
A new intake of Foundation Studies students is lining up outside the lecture theatre door to receive their iPads. They have had a week or so of orientation to living in Melbourne, finding their way around the College and the University, choosing their electives and meeting staff. Now they are keen to get their brand new iPad out of the box and get started on purchasing some study-related apps, familiarising themselves with their coursework, and perhaps even get a head start on the reading. Students pay for their iPad in their fees, and with it receive a few hours of intensive orientation to using what is already for many a familiar leisure tool as a powerful learning and teaching tool. Our Information Technology Services staff have developed profiles for each incoming student which immediately connects them up to the wireless network, into the college email system, contacts and calendars. Ordinarily it might take many weeks to get every student connected in to these essential communication services, but with all students using iPads it can literally be done in a matter of moments.
The teaching staff can be absolutely sure all our students are online, linked in with services, able to be contacted.