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« Achieving consistent happiness | Main | BFTP: From the tech department - and a response »

PLSA and tablets

I've described them as creeping in under the fence.

Pesky little things of unproven value but high on the cuteness scale. Shiny. Sexy. Trendy. Hard-marketed. You couldn't keep them out of your district if you wanted to. They will get in.

iPads, of course.

Through grants, building funds, PTO gifts, and even individual teacher purchase, we now have nearly 400 of these little devils to manage - if "manage" is even a term that can be applied. Designed as personal devices, not institutional equipment, the tech department will be giving up a lot of control over this computing tool - and the individual user accepting more responsibility for updates, software installation, and other management tasks. 

I suppose I should have seen it coming.  Using my own  PLSA (Probability of Large Scale Adoption) Predictor rubric ...  

... the iPad scores very high. Simplicity: one button. 20 points Convenience: access it everywhere in the classroom or school. 20 points Reliability: so far, so good. 20 points Usefulness/need: Apple seems to have convinced a lot of educators there is. 15 points Affordability: Half the cost of an Apple desktop or laptop, but as much as a netbook or lowend PC. This category gets only 10 points from me. The rumored $200 7" iPad will boost this score. For now, 85/100 points. Very, very high.

Quite honestly, I've never in my 30+ years working in schools seen as much enthusiasm for a product as I have for the iPad. And even this old curmudegeon is completely in favor of anything that excites teachers and administrators. 

Today we start series of "iPads for Leaders" sessions aimed at building principals, central office staff, grade level leaders, continuous improvement coaches and librarians - even the superintendent.

I hope the enthusiasm remains high. And morphs from being excited about a device to being excited about doing education in more engaging way for kids.

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Reader Comments (4)

i hope you continue to post your experiences with the iPad and other tablets. i sometimes wonder whether implementation of tablets will ever happen here at my school, but so far no word.

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKenn Gorman

My school district (fairbanks north star borough school district) created an app called AppTrack. They are working with Apple to make it available to the wider market. This handy tool is amazing. Not only does it allow us to purchase multiple copies of an app at a time do that we can purchase one for each iPad in a set at once, it allows us to remotely manage the features, rating levels, camera usage, and more REMOTELY. We have different levels of access for different users, the ability to groups iPads into different "pools" so that each has different settings, as well as apple settings to a specific machine Apple didn't design the iPads to be used by schools in this way, but there are innovative people like our tech department that are there to make it happen. I don't know how much our school district is sharing this technology at this point, but it's on the way down the road.

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Rinio

Would love LOVE to see an agenda for some of your iPad for Leaders sessions! I just did my first session this week with our principals and it went fairly well. (they were very excited as well) I mentioned the idea of flipping some of our admin meetings in hopes of creating more meaningful meetings to actually get work done vs. providing general updates to the team. I think the mobility of the iPad along with apps like Explain Everything can make this a reality!

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen Hegna

Hi Deb,

We're using Filewave to help manage some apps, but the whole area including purchasing - is a real work in progress. Get your people on the stick and sharing their app. It sounds great.


Hi Jen,

I'll ask the creator, Marti, to share his plans with you.


August 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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