First Steps into the Unknown

Today, I took my first steps into the unknown. A brand new school where two schools previously separated were united on one site, a purpose built and containing veins of technology which have the potential to stir into becoming the life blood of the school. Expectant children wearing a new coloured uniform with a new logo. The single leaf symbolic of the potential of growth. My new colleagues suspicious of my presence but accepting of my new role, Digital Integrationalist. A new opportunity for me to work towards supporting them to realise their vision of a connected and inclusive learning environment. A new chapter opens.

So on this blank page what shall I write?

I am an experienced teacher, I like to think that my previous twenty five years would equip me for the days and months ahead. I truly felt as I had on my very first day as a NQT teacher all those years ago. ¬†Nervous, anxious to fit in, running on adrenaline with thirty eager faces staring at me, waiting for something remarkable to happen…

What was remarkable was the accepting attitude of the children in the school. I was presented to them as their teacher and they gave their very best. Eager to learn and to please. Listening intently and contributing positively in the lessons.

So why was today remarkable for me? The 30 students all had iPads, but the device was to all intent and purpose invisible. No one fiddled, had a sneaky look to check messages or tapped the keyboard to just get to the next level on a game. The device was part of the classroom, part of the toolkit that equipped the Year 5/6 class to learn. The iPad sat discreetly no more or less distracting than a newly sharpened pencil. The children were unphased by its presence on their desk. It was accepted; almost as natural as breathing.

I have endeavoured to include mobile technology in classrooms for five years now as I thought that mobile technology could be the catalyst that changes the landscape of education. Today, was the first time that this was confirmed to me…I believe!

So what did we use today in class? How did the iPad support learning ?

  1. I was able to Airdrop a class template in Book Creator , the skeleton of a digital maths book where the children could not only record their answer but the process and journey of how they came to reach their conclusions.
  2. By using the video capture feature in Explain Everything to document the stages of their discovery path both successes and dead ends.
  3. Adding their video voice overs to Book Creator.
  4. The class were able to collaborate and contribute the the poetry slam by utilising Displaynote in conjunction with the Clevertouch board to annotate my notes in real time and add them to the class discussion.
  5. I used the camera as a visualiser to encourage good work and give feedback and constructive help to scaffold tasks.
  6. Modelled how to set restrictions and organise files via AirPlay during our discussions on the essential responsibility of online safety.
As a teacher I used the iPad to;
  1. I put names to faces in Teacher Kit to begin the recording assessments and evaluative notes. Allowing me to begin to get to know my new classes more effectively and efficiently.
  2. Prepared a lesson on 100 square by filming a tutorial to encourage independent learning and aide classroom management.
  3. Added a series of images to a album in photos ready to play as a slideshow to scaffold ideas To be played during the design process of a school fete flyer.
  4. Quickly answered emails, added tweet to my feed and designed a blog…
I can’t wait for tomorrow


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