Friday, August 3, 2012

Ok, so we have bought iPads and the Engaged Learning Initiative in underway... where do we go from here?

As Mr. Hulin mentioned in his post, Hoover High School initially established an iPad team that began to meet in May and has continued to meet over the summer. This team has provided valuable insight into their comfort level with the initiative and have been an integral part of the implementation process. At our last meeting, the team began to develop a management plan as well the plan for professional development for themselves and their peers.

Hoover City Schools and Apple have collaborated as part of this initiative to train 40 teachers from each of the 2 high schools at our central office. This training has taken place over the past 2 weeks and the teachers who have been trained as part of this group have already received their devices. Facebook posts and Tweets detailing ideas for their classrooms are starting to appear. Exciting!

All other teachers at Hoover High will receive their iPads on August 6th. They will come to the school and complete paperwork (basically checking out the iPad). This will give them some time before the teacher inservice days that begin August 13th to become more familiar with their devices. We realize that the comfort level with the devices will vary and we keep this in mind throughout the planning process.

The iPad team will be involved with all aspects of professional development for their peers. The first of these opportunities will be on August 13th and 14th here at Hoover High. The team along with the administrative staff and other volunteer teachers will conduct a variety of 40 minutes sessions that range from turning on the iPad to flipping the classroom. Teachers will be able to select the sessions that they want to attend. The sessions are set up by level. Level 1 being the beginner level and Level 3 being the most proficient. The team volunteered to present at the sessions on a topic that they are comfortable with. An interesting note here is that although some team members were very proficient users of the iPad, they all were hesitant to volunteer to present at Level 2 and Level 3. I believe that this will also be true for our teachers. Some who are proficient with the device will attend Level 1 sessions at first, which will build their confidence and hopefully allow them to realize that they are ready for the next levels of presentations. For this reason, we did plan many more Level 1 sessions for the first day of professional development training.

Here is a sample of some of the session titles:
Basic iPad
Twitter for Beginners
Navigating ISTE-NETS Certification
Flipping with the iPad
QR Codes
Apps to Make What You Do Easier
iCan Do This (Evernote, Edmodo)
iMad to iGlad
Google Docs
iPad for Dummies
Using Moodle for Teaching Research

During our discussion with the iPad team, everyone stressed the importance of giving our staff time to incorporate the use of iPads into the classroom. Not everyone will be willing to jump in with both feet. Some will need to ease in and some will just stand back on the shore and watch for a while. Which is perfectly fine.

Spain Park High School, the other high school in our school district, also formed a "Think Tank" team for the Engaged Learning Initiative. They broke their staff into percentages using the 33%, 33%, 33%, 1% model. They believe that 33% of the faculty will be ready to go from day one, 33% will be excited but need lots of professional development and support, 33% will need more support to be successful and will not be as willing to change the way they have done things in the past, and 1% will never take the iPad out of the box. We agree at Hoover that our staff will be similar to this model.

At this point, the presenters are working to finalize their presentations and the administrative team is working on logistics for the day. These are very exciting days at HHS!

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