Scholarship Results for Trinity iPad Students


In Semester One 2012 the University of Melbourne allocated the following undergraduate scholarships to the Trinity College Foundation Studies students who came through the Trinity iPad Program:

1 X 100% fee waiver

2 X 50% fee waiver

7 X 10% fee waiver

In total 10 TCFS iPad students received scholarships, 24% of the total graduating cohort of the students from the iPad Pilot Program.

The iPad students, who commenced their Trinity studies as August Extended students in 2010 before joining the larger February Main cohort in 2011, comprised 10.3% of the February Main 2011 cohort. The iPad students attracted 40% of the scholarships (10 of the 25) that were offered to the February Main graduating students who began undergraduate study at the University of Melbourne in Semester One 2012.

Since the start of 2012 all TCFS students have been allocated iPads, and it will be interesting to monitor their academic progress throughout this year. Hopefully we can look forward to high levels of academic engagement and achievement for all students and also look forward to future scholarship winners.

Excellent Academic Results with Trinity’s iPad Pilot Group

Today the new February Main 2012 students of Trinity College Foundation Studies (TCFS) begin their orientation activities. A key component of their academic orientation will be the distribution of iPads for use in the classroom and for study at home, in the library, or wherever students happen to be inspired or pressed by an assessment deadline. As we prepare a new cohort to commence their academic program using iPads, it is worthwhile reflecting both on the effectiveness of Trinity’s original iPad Pilot Program and the rationale for extending iPad use to all TCFS students and academic staff.

Final academic results for the iPad Pilot Group within Trinity College Foundation Studies show that iPad students achieved the highest individual scores in the 2011 February Main cohort. The iPad students achieved higher average scores than their February Main classmates. The iPad students also did better on average than classmates from their home countries.

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Ongoing Educational Exchange

On Tuesday 23 August, one day after the launch of Trinity’s second iPad pilot, we were pleased to host colleagues from Redlands College in Queensland. Craig Zaki, Annamari Twomey, Lucy Clinch and Adam Ayling dropped by to share experiences using iPads in the classroom. While Jennifer Mitchell and I were not in a position to demonstrate the use of iPads in the classroom that morning (because our August and September students had only arrived on Monday and were still undergoing orientation activities) we were happy to share the results of our earlier trial that ran from August 2010 until February 2011. We also discussed the extensive professional development with Trinity staff that has taken place throughout 2011.

In a broad ranging discussion we shared classroom experiences, anecdotes of how the varying cohorts of students adapt to the devices, useful applications to apply across disciplines or for very specific subjects, and the trials and tribulations of dealing with certain technical issues and attitudes. We agreed that things evolve quickly and are worth revisiting. (For example, Trinity had less than ideal experiences with E-Clicker in 2010 but Redlands has been using it seamlessly this year. We shared work together on SyncSpace, an application that is fairly new to us, and discussed the potential of SyncSpace for collaborative work in the classroom. Both Redlands and Trinity reported good experiences with Dropbox, and we’ve also appreciated updates and developments in a range of other applications, including Evernote.)

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Two Pilots Are Better Than One

Getting ready to study

TCFS students receive their iPads, 22 August 2011

On 22 August 2011 we moved to the next stage of our iPad trial at Trinity College Foundation Studies by welcoming students into the August Extended and September Extended programs. Each student was allocated an iPad to be used throughout their studies in Melbourne.

Use of iPads with the August and September cohorts of students is the final preparation before using iPads with every new student in every subject for all TCFS intakes commencing in 2012.

We ran our original trial of iPads in the classroom from August 2010 until February 2011, and this trial was very successful, leading to a recommendation from staff and students to expand the program in 2011 and beyond. Earlier this year Trinity rolled out iPads to all academic staff, with associated professional development led by Jennifer Mitchell and educational discussions held within academic departments. This preparation enabled plenty of time for skills training and curriculum development before the full implementation in 2012. At the same time we had ongoing improvements to our classroom AV equipment and close collaboration with staff in Information Technology Services, especially Martin Steers and Trent Anderson, to make sure that iPads were well integrated in teaching spaces and well supported.

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iPad Professional Development for Teachers

***The Professional Development opportunity listed below was in May, 2011.
If you are interested in Professional Development with other teachers at Trinity College, please make a comment below, or get in touch with us, here.
Teachers who are interested in the iPad pilot at Trinity College Foundation Studies and would like to consider the teaching and learning opportunities of iPads at their school might be interested in an upcoming PD session at Trinity. This full-day session will be run by Glen Jennings and Jennifer Mitchell on 4 May.

Photos by Mark Chew

Moving & Change

Apologies for the lack of posts over the past month. Several events have been occurring recently in conjunction with the end of our six month pilot.

We’ve completed more surveys with staff and students, and used the large collection of data that we’ve amassed over the past few months to create a final report numbering roughly 20 pages. I hope that we’ll be able to publish it on this blog shortly.

Additionally, I was recently offered a new role that will allow me to assist a great number of educational institutions with their technology needs, and was too good an opportunity to refuse. As such, it’s with some sadness that I’ll be leaving Trinity College. Luckily, the iPad pilot is in great (if not better) hands now, with Trent Anderson and Jennifer Mitchell coming on board to ensure that the teachers are given strong support as our investigations into mobile technology continue.


cheers, and thanks for reading!

Photos by Mark Chew

Early Reflections on Teaching and Learning with iPads

Trinity College Foundation Studies has been trialling iPads in the classroom since August 2010. Staff and students in nine subjects have been using the devices for more than two months. We are now at the stage where all participants have been surveyed to capture their initial expectations and to gauge early experiences of using the iPads inside and outside the classroom.

Since the latest survey in October, follow-up meetings with staff have also fleshed out the educational experiences. It’s now possible to make some tentative comments about practical, methodological and pedagogical issues that may be of interest to others who are currently trialling or plan to trial iPads or similar devices.

More info after the break…
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The Flash Post.

If you follow technology news sites (or even if you don’t), you might be well aware of The Adobe vs Apple WAR ON FLASH (as opposed to the Google vs Apple WAR ON MOBILE OSes or any of the other apparent technology ‘wars’ going on right now.)

A quick aside… Am I the only one tiring of these supposed wars? Are they even wars? Really? I suspect that these ‘wars’ are usually just the formulation of adoring users and the media rather than the companies themselves, who are most likely happy that their products are valid enough to be contenders and receive a good deal of free press.

Anyway, given the lack of Adobe Flash on iOS, I thought I’d add some of my thoughts about the debate, as it’s something that regularly comes up when discussing iPads.

Plenty more to read after the break…
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Australia/New Zealand iPad mailing list for education

Many schools appear to be conducting research into iPads in classrooms, and a mailing list now exists to encourage discussion amongst education professionals in Australian/New Zealand schools (though if you’re around the globe, I’m sure you’re welcome as well).

Many of us are likely to face similar questions/hurdles, and together we might be able to collaborate to arrive at better/faster solutions.

If you’re interested in subscribing to the mailing list, please go to and fill out the web based form there.

Obviously the more members that join, the better the information might be, so I encourage you to at least give it a try!

[14/10/2010 edit: Due to demand outside of Victoria, we’ve expanded the original list from just Victorian schools to include the rest of Australia and New Zealand]

Why Change? Education as a dialogue.

The emphasis on moving beyond the simple to the more complex, as well as the emphasis on creating conditions within which students can pursue intellectual interests without arbitrary restrictions or rigid templates, is something that we can all relate to and appreciate as goals of our educational reform.

After all, if we don’t discover new and better things, and if we don’t develop improved skills, why change?

Teachers who encourage and help liberate the intellectual curiosity of students – and allow them the freedom to develop their own projects – are worth emulating, and provide an insight into a modern style of problem-based learning that is increasingly relevant at university level.

The ideas and experiments generated by Trinity College’s August Entry staff and students currently piloting the iPad potentially seem to fit with these possibilities of moving quickly through the simple to the more complex, encouraging exploration and genuine intellectual inquiry, and broadening the education horizon.

Resources are instantly at hand and easy to collect, annotate, contrast and compare. This gives time to do the important work of thinking, discussing, and evaluating. And students seem to be able to quickly create and deliver presentations.

I agree with the suggested idea by Jane Garton, one of our teachers at Trinity, about a forum within our organisation for conducting, sharing and discussing research and educational practice. And I know that some other staff, including Jennifer Mitchell and Gayle Allan, are keen to promote an education wiki.

We can use these collaborative tools to discuss the kinds of questions raised previously by Gary Stager, Mark Dorset and Pam Lawrence. And, for example, I agree that Gary promotes greater freedom and less structure in assessment. But contrary to Pam’s worry, I don’t believe Trinity could do away with exams or formal assessment. Trinity students are required to achieve a certain score for university entrance.

Perhaps what we need to do is broaden our definition of assessment, and also think about the way in which we conduct assessment or process our assessment.

Another of our Trinity colleagues David Gormley-O’Brien, for example, has an excellent system of electronically commenting on electronically-submitted work which not only sets a formal grade but tracks the backwards and forwards discussion between teacher and student that manifests education that is a dialogue and a process of progression. This is possible through an online learning environment such as Moodle, and is worthy of close scrutiny and discussion by our Foundation Studies staff.