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 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.

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Now we have the go-ahead, we’re continuing staff development and enhancing expertise.

Apologies for the lack of posts over the past few months. It’s been a very busy time for everyone here at Trinity College Foundation Studies. In late April we got the go ahead to proceed to the final stage of our pilot program – the full rollout of iPads to all new students enrolled in our Foundation Studies programs, from 2012. This exciting news and the certainty it brings has given the “Step Forward Program” a new surge of energy and activity.

Foremost among the activities taking up much of our attention is supporting over eighty teachers to further develop their expertise in mobile technology, and integrate the iPad into their teaching practices. We are currently planning and working towards another pilot with students in the August and September intakes in 2011. This will be a chance to further experiment, conduct some quality research and evaluation, and refine our approaches before commencing with our main programs from February 2012.

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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

Trinity College iPad Pilot Report Available

As I reported below, the Report from our six month 1:1 iPad pilot was completed in January. The Report lays the foundations for bringing about the full vision that the Step Forward Pilot Project encompasses – a dynamic, engaging, active and creative curriculum for all students in the Foundation Studies Programs at Trinity College. Foundation Studies is a bridging program for International students preparing for studies at University. For more.

We can now share with you the full version of our ‘Step Forward’ iPad Pilot Report, which is available for viewing in a shared Google Doc.

Report on the Step Forward iPad Pilot Project

by Glen Jennings, Trent Anderson, Mark Dorset, and Jennifer Mitchell.

We have opened the report to comments and suggestions from the Academic Faculty at Trinity College, and we also welcome any and all comments, questions and reflections from our readers here. Feedback is an essential ingredient in any major institutional change – from both those involved, and from external observers.

In the next post soon to come, the philosophical and pedagogical underpinnings of Phase Two of the Project, detailed in an earlier post, will be outlined. I am also hoping to include a guest post from one of the students who undertook the August Early Entry program in 2010. Our students’ experiences and voices are another essential ingredient, and as Phase Two progresses, students will continue to be involved in the project. Several of the former August students have purchased their own iPads for their studies in the February Main Program. These students’ reflections and observations about the ways iPads are being used in the classrooms by teachers, and contributing to their learning experiences and study skills, will be sought and incorporated into the second pilot currently scheduled for 2011.

Please follow the link, and leave comments or questions.

Photos by Mark Chew


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.

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