Favorite TCEA13 Session: What NOT To Do With iPad Deployment

I was fortunate to get to attent TCEA13 this year in Austin; I would say the best one to date! All handouts posted thus far can be found here. This convention provides so many great resources, tips, tricks, and valuable information on just what's trending in the edtech world. One of the highlights was attending a session presented by Carl Hooker, Director of Educational Technology at Eanes ISD in Austin. He presented a session entitled, Top 10 Things NOT to DO of an iPad Implementation. Another session led by Tammy Worcester was going on at the same time entitled, iHave An iPad, Now What Do I Do? While I love Tammy Worcester and all of her resources, I must admit, I was intrigued by what I shouldn't be doing! I mean, I figured I could come up with a lot of ways to effectively implement the iPads...I just wasn't sure I knew what I shouldn't be doing with them. My selection of sessions proved to be spot on. This session was filled with great information, tips, and tricks to maximize effective implementation. Here are some of what I considered to be the most significant take-aways:
  • Communication is key...communicate with administration, parents, students and utilize multiple forms of communication!
  • Give it time to see real transformation of the learning environment to occur...This was key for me because I tend to want everything to happen yesterday!
  • When evaluating the transformation or disruption of the learning environment, realize that without effective edtech support, true TRANSFORMATION of the learning environment won't occur...What he meant here was, introducing iPads into the classroom does substitute the tools of pen and paper and it definitely augments the learning environment because the very nature of these tools is engaging; however, the teacher is still the dispenser of all knowledge. True transformation won't occur until the learning environment becomes student-centered and prescriptive or individualized to meet the needs of each learner. Effective teacher support systems must be in place to achieve the upper levels of the SAMR model as shown above. This is why districts without these resources tend to see programs plateau and never completely achieve true transformation.
  • To achieve maximum benefit, teachers need to remember these tools can empower the students and teachers need to make sure they get out of the way and allow that dynamic to occur. An example he provided was this student-led project that produced this music video:
This was an excellent session that provided a great deal of valuable information, but more importantly, a great deal of inspiration and ideas for truly transforming the learning environment...stay tuned for reports of progress made!
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