iPad Trials: Measuring Student Learning for iPad Adoption

We are beginning to organize a number of short trials in our High School here at the Western Academy of Beijing looking at how iPads could/should/may be used as a powerful learning tool. We are a 1:1 (MBP) school so we have many questions that we are looking to explore: do we become a 2:1 high school, what value does an iPad add in addition to a MBP in our high school curriculum (IB MYP and IB DP), will the iPad replace the MBP,  should we have a bank of bookable loaner iPads or is the value-add in the ownership and personalization of the iPad? The questions are endless!

Macbook Pro AND/OR/NOT iPads for high school students?
Who else is doing trials? Or has the answer(s)? Or who would like answers and would like to collaborate? What data are you gathering? How are you gathering this data? For example, if we do not use a control group for some of our trials, how should we proceed with our research to find out if the iPad does add value or is it just the once-only novelty of using a new technology. In short, we are looking for help and advice.

The iTunes U Mac 101 Beijing Project

This article was authored collaboratively using Pirate Pad by the students from BCIS, Dulwich College Beijing, RDFZ XISHAN SCHOOL and Western Academy of Beijing.

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The WAB Geek Force iTunes U Project Team

On September 26th, 2012, students from Beijing City International School, Dulwich College Beijing, Ren Da Fu Zhong Xishan, and the Western Academy of Beijing met together at the Apple Executive Briefing Center in Beijing to initiate a new one-of-a-kind project, Mac 101. It’s goal was to teach educators in the worldwide community the basics of using Apple products such as the MacBook or the iPad to effectively utilize them in an educational context. And as a team, we aspired to achieve this target through producing a concise and didactic iBook and planning a full session dedicated to training teachers as well as others who need technological assistance.

In addition to some cool features available to Macs, the students were given a brief insight on what its like to be an educator: somebody with massive demands on their time, with little or no inclination to keep in touch with technology, much less spend time learning about it. In response to this, students learnt ways on how to effectively convey why technology is an important aspect of not only daily life, but also education. A short presentation was given detailing how something that is often overlooked, the Reader tool for Safari, could be of significant use in reducing the stress experienced by teachers through making their jobs easier, as well as enhancing the classroom experience. Furthermore, students were briefed on the advantages of Apple products in an educational context; especially iBooks and iBook Author as an interactive learning tool, and, according to Beijing City International School ADE, William Percy, “Going beyond the print metaphor” with iBooks to make the Apple learning experience fully interactive.

At the event’s opening, Melissa Li, the Apple representative leading the event, regarded the Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) as well as the students present as participants in a “world leading project”, referring to those gathered as the “crème de la crème” of the international school community, meaning that Apple couldn’t have gotten a more knowledgeable or adept group of technologically minded people working together on this project between diverse schools and cultures. The different groups collaborated on formulating innovative solutions and ideas in the form of brainstorming, promoting a “yes, and” mentality in place of the usual “yes, but”; all of this discussion and exchange truly represented what Apple stands for: innovation, creativity and collaboration.

Students were appointed eight groups from mixed schools, and were taught the fundamental aspects of being an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE): Ambassadors, Advisors, Advocates, and Authors. As Apple representatives, the group will have to embody these characteristics.

After several sessions brainstorming, students learned of uses of integrated iBooks which may be included into the BCIS curriculum. The presentation showed the features of iBooks Author, as well as the interactivity that could be utilized in classrooms in Beijing and around the world. Other brainstorms also included ways we could introduce apple product to teachers in a comprehensible and easy to understand.

All in all, it was a great and educational time for everybody, a celebration of teamwork, collaboration, and of diversity.

Learning 2.012 – you know it’s over when….

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  1. Zero emails in the register@learning2.asia inbox
  2. I’ve had time to have lunch today
  3. I’ve had time to tweet and tweet and tweet #learning2
  4. I’ve only Skyped/chatted/emailed @mscofino, @samay99, @cdiller & @julielindsay just once or twice today
  5. It’s Monday evening and I am not in a Learning 2.012 online meeting
  6. I’m not wearing a red shirt
  7. My students have reintroduced themselves to me
  8. I actually cooked dinner tonight
  9. I seem to be very, very tired & can only write a short, simple blog post like this one
  10. I’m sad!

My personal highlight: my husband (can’t give a FB or twitter handle as guess what, he doesn’t do FB and twitter) returns home from Learning 2.012 on Friday evening and asks me in a matter-of-fact way: “Mads, do you have a blog?” Clearly he never reads my electronic signature, hasn’t noted the annual credit card statements from BlueHost or read anything I have posted in the last two years….clearly I need to blog more and something a little more profound…now that I have time!