A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to present at an Apple event in Bury. One of my o presenters was the (famous) and highly regarded Abdul Chohan. He is the Director and iPad lead at Essa Academy. Through his vision, and hard work, Essa have become one of the most successful iPad schools in the UK.
During Adbul's presentation he detailed how he and his staff developed their iPad project from the ground up.
One of the points he made really hit home with me, "change belief not behaviour".
Far too often iPad projects fall down, or in some cases, don't even get off the ground due to devices not being used or used correctly. In most instances where iPad devices are used as cameras or browsers, or worse...in cupboards or trolleys...teachers don't use them because belief they amy not work, or aren't useful enough.
What I took from the presentation, rang true for what I have seen...If staff are to start using mobile devices properly and regularly, they have to believe that there is added value in sing them. Not just pay lip service to their use in the classroom.
Abdul's story is not too dissimilar to many schools who 'get it', its just he and his team made iPad use/integration a key priority at Essa. There are many ways in which he did this, but all centred around changing the belief his staff had about the tech they were using.
My tips for changing how staff perceive mobile technoogy like the iPad are these:
1. Ensure there is a Vision and a Plan in place. Its just not acceptable for staff to have an iPad in their hands just because the school down the road have them (or they look nice). It is about enhancing teaching and learning, encouraging new ways of teaching and engaging with learning.
2. Support your staff. One off CPD events have little or no impact long term in school. From 10 years of teaching I have seen so many awesome CPD events come and go, with little impact on school long term. Teachers and students need regular 'top ups' not one big push in training. The key is gradual, planned change, not short term box ticking (there is too much of that in the world already!)
3. Involve everyone. From parents, to technicians. Everyone needs to be on board. Technology or rather IT in school needs to be supported by your technicians. They need a heads up, they need to be prepared, they need to be comfortable with managing these systems. Without a robust 'backend' staff will not use their devices, especially if the wireless is 'flaky' or they can't access 'stuff' at home.
We have more detail, and a deeper look at these (and many more points for successful deployments) on our YouTube channel here, subscribe to receive our latest video updates and tutorials for free!
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