Our progress at Manly West

Although we have been a little quiet here on the blog (apologies!), we have been doing a lot of planning and preparation for our CC21 project at Manly West.

The week following our initial meeting, I met with the 10 volunteers, ranging from K-6, who expressed interest in being part of the CC21 project and debriefed them on our initial meeting. We discussed the aim of our project: how we will collaboratively develop differentiated, small-group projects and activities which integrate the use of iPad technology. We will develop these projects with an initial focus on Literacy and with links to the new Australian English curriculum. We also discussed sharing these activities and projects with other teachers on our grades/stages, with the aim of similar activities being implemented in their classrooms.

We decided that we would spend this term planning our projects and begin implementing them in Term 2. The ideas that we shared around at our initial meeting were fantastic and everyone is quite enthusiastic about using mobile technology to implement worthwhile learning experiences for their students. We are aiming to meet again before the end of term to share our final ideas.

One of our team members has set us up with an Edmodo account, allowing us to more easily share our ideas. This is already working well, as coming together regularly isn’t easy with so much going on all the time!

I have also met with our Technology committee on several occasions to discuss getting our new 130 iPads into classrooms. These iPads were delivered very recently and the last few weeks have involved a lot of research into Volume Purchasing, conversations with Apple and coming up with a management plan. We have volunteer “Technology Coaches” on each grade and these coaches will now be responsible for syncing the iPads for their stages and making purchases through the Education Store. Next week, we are spending time during our stage meetings to decide which apps we would like on our iPads, as at least initially, all classes on the same grade will have the same apps. I’ve spent a lot of time compiling a list of the favourite educational apps at this school and, once complete, I will post it here in case anyone would like any app ideas to use at their own school.

The Technology committee has also discussed how we will build staff confidence in utilising technology in the classroom, which is another aim of our project. Several weeks ago, we sent out a note asking staff to list three areas in technology in which they would like to enhance their skills. iPad skills was, understandably, the most common response, as well as ways to effectively use iPads in the classroom. As a result of this survey, we have decided that we will run after school training sessions for staff who wish to attend, beginning in Term 2.

It has been great reading up on how the rest of you are going about implementing your projects. I look forward to our next meeting on April 9th.

~Tina Simat

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