Three years back the first of PAUSD's classes, two fifth grade classes at Barron Park elementary went 1:1 iPads. This was a huge step. The year: 2012-13 and very few elementary schools had tried 1:1. Given that the iPads had started shipping in April of 2010, the first class to go 1:1 would have been 2010-11 and this was the iPad 1 without a camera. Come Spring of 2011 and the iPad 2 with a camera released. This unleashed a whole new potential for the use of an iPad in education. However, even as I searched for various case studies for 1:1 iPads for a capstone research project on 1:1 evaluation, the really few ones I found were based in high school.
After going through two years of 1:1 in fifth grade (another two schools in PAUSD are now 1:1 in fifth grade), and seeing the benefits on learning for every ability of student, the fourth grade teachers jumped on board last year, with both classes going 1:1. Based upon the lessons we had learned from the previous fifth grade implementation and given the fact that we were all way more prepared, this particular implementation was successful on several fronts: the teachers using the iPads for creative and daily reference purposes, the daily responsibility that students took on and the really positive student feedback amongst several other aspects.
In the meantime, the primary grade teachers had seen the benefit of using 1:1 iPads in the classroom and had been asking to get them. In order to get the necessary funding, they had to wait a whole year. However, in that year, not only were the teachers ready and asking for the iPads (versus me touting the benefits) but we were also able to go through release day professional development in the spring before the end of the previous school year for iPad integration. We barely talked about apps, as should be the case. The focus was on management and learning objectives. A day in the life of....
School begins next week. Thanks to the district IT, district Ed Tech, school administration and PTA support, the school launches 1:1 in grades 1-5 this year. In order to address questions that may arise as well as to explain to families what we do with iPads, I put together an FAQ. Click here to check it out.
Would love for people's feedback and comments on the FAQ and experiences to share.