Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative

Part of the benefit of jumping forward with a 1:1 iPad deployment like we have tried is that we get the opportunity to impart knowledge to other districts looking to do a similar initiative. While that might not seem like a benefit, it actually also means we can make some mistakes because there is not a long history of this type of deployment in the world. Many districts have had 1:1 Laptop projects, which we have benefited from and could easily be applied to this list I’m about to share. However, for the sake of our specific district, and the questions I get from other districts on a daily basis, I’m going to break down the ten things you should NOT do when implementing a 1:1 iPad program.

1. Do NOT wait until the last minute to give them to staff.
Due to the timing of our bond package and when funds could become available, we didn’t actually have iPads in hand and branded until mid-July. That means many teachers only got to experience the iPads in their hands for one month or less. Not ideal when trying to make your staff comfortable. Perfect world they could have them a year to a semester ahead of time. Or at least before the summer starts.

2. Do NOT expect it to go perfectly on the first day students get them.
We planned the launch day as perfectly as we could have, but there are always a couple of issues to deal with. We had iPad cases held up in customs at DFW airport, so we had to fill a last-minute order of 1500 cases the night before. We crashed our Casper server 3 hours into the first day as hundreds of kids were downloading their apps at the same time. Both of those issues are fixable, but you can’t always anticipate those things during planning.

3. Do NOT roll out all your apps at the same time on the same day.
See item #2 above. If you are doing a 1:1 model like ours, where the end-user gets the apps, you don’t want to force-feed all your apps down on the same day. This is especially true with larger apps like Garageband, which we left off the initial day list and released it on the weekend, when kids could download it from their own bandwidth at home. This spreads the downloads out over time so you don’t have 1500 kids downloading a 1.7 GB app during 3rd period.

Don’t Ctrl

4. Do NOT try and control everything about the iPad.
There are several models out there for deployment of apps – A personal model, an institutional model, and a layered model being the most common. The beauty and educational relevance of these devices is the personalization of learning that can happen. That is null and void the second you turn this into just another “system” to manage through your technology department. These are NOT PC’s. Do NOT try and manage them as such. You destroy the value-add by doing that. Because of age restrictions with Apple IDs, you can only have students 13+ manage those accounts. I encourage you to do that (this is the personal model). Students under 13, you’re likely to be forced to use some version of the other two models. In the personal model, the worst thing that can happen is they walk away with an app like Keynote. God forbid they actually want to use an educational tool to make presentations after they graduate.

5. Do NOT expect teaching to change immediately.
I have long been preaching the SAMR model by Dr. Ruben Puentedura as how teaching should progress in a 1:1 (or any) environment. Apple has also relied heavily on this model and I figure they know what they are talking about. Teachers can’t be expected to change the way they teach overnight. However, most of the tools we’ve given them in the past (Smartboards, document cameras, etc) were teaching tools. This tool is in the hands of kids, which means it’s student-driven. Teachers and students will lean heavily on substitution in the SAMR model to start, but have patience. Redefinition of teaching and learning does NOT happen overnight.

6. Do NOT assume the entire community will be on board.
As great as the idea behind personalized learning can be, it can be a pretty severe mind-shift for those lay-people in the community. Add on top of that, budget cuts with staff time, and you can see how this can quickly turn into a no-win scenario. It’s important to stress what the goals are in all of this and also to get both parents and teachers working with you to find solutions to little problems. However, that doesn’t mean you give them the option to not participate. The most successful 1:1 programs have a universal understanding and expectation across the district about what can and should be accomplished. In the community, there is a common misconception that an iPad isn’t a computer. If you pass a bond to buy computers, you need to make sure they understand that these are in fact tablet computers. The other item to stress is that this is a powerful classroom tool that now takes the place of the textbook, calculator, dictionary, etc. It might not do everything, but for the cost and what it will do, it’s well worth the investment.

It’s not all about scores kids…heh heh!

7. Do NOT evaluate the program solely with test scores.

It may be the easiest and most publicized metric to measure kids with, but it’s far from the most accurate when you are talking about changing the culture of learning and customizing a student’s school experience through a 1:1 program. Engagement, motivation, collaboration, communication and the desire to dig deeper into subjects were all items we measured through anonymous student and teacher surveys. With all of those improvements, it’s what happens next when the student goes on to college and post-college life, that’s a thousand times more important than how they did on a random test. This item is closely tied to item 6 above when talking to the community about how the program is going.
8. Do NOT limit staff training to the summer.
Due to budgetary cuts, our high school teachers lost an extra planning period which was considered “PLC time”. This time was framed around Dufour’s Professional Learning Communities and allowed for same-subject area teachers to have a common planning time to grow and learn. On top of that, we cut back our instructional technologists across the district. Both of these factors could have killed the program and definitely kept us from transforming teaching and learning as much as we would have liked. The research of Robert Marzano and the findings in Project Red talk about how one of the key traits to successful implementation of 1:1 is a monthly training at minimum lead by the Principal and key leaders to give teachers the tools they need. Research also suggests that teachers will ultimately determine the success of the program, so it’s worth investing in them. We have seen the error in our ways and will implement back some PLC Time next year as well as add some support staff.

Teachers without a CMS

9. Do NOT expect email to be the best option for submitting work
Being paperless has been a great cost savings for us. We’ve cut back on paper use by 22% in the first few months and that’s only with 2 grade levels having 1:1 technology. While that’s a great cost-savings, management of all those digital files can be an issue for teachers. They no longer have to tote 187 papers back and forth to school, but now all of those papers will crowd their inbox of their email. Teachers at our high school have figured out how to use Gmail’s filtering to help with this organization, but ultimately, a good content management system is needed. We just purchased our system (eBackPack) to put in place for next year, and hope that not only will paper be saved, but also time.
10. Do NOT let fear overcome your mission
Everyone will go through a point in time where they doubt the idea of a 1:1 iPad program working. They’ll think it’s a fad. They’ll think it’s a waste of money. They’ll complain about having to change. All of these and hundreds of other concerns will be raised throughout the implementation process. It is easy to get dismayed by the loud minority of critics out there. If there is any hope of your program being successful, the core team of administrators, teachers and students need to be on the same page, speaking the same message. That message is plain and simple: This is not a technology expense, it’s an investment in our students and their future.

This blog is cross-posted at SchoolCIO.com/blogs
 
Note: A follow-up of this post was written in December of 2012: 10 MORE things NOT to do

About MrHooker

Director of Innovative & Digital Learning at Eanes ISD, Founder of iPadpalooza, EdTechTeacher Consultant, Zombie-enthusiast, T&L Leader of the Year for 2014 and father of 3.

Posted on May 1, 2012, in iPads, Techy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 72 Comments.

  1. Nice job, Hooker. This is my favorite part, “The beauty and educational relevance of these devices is the personalization of learning that can happen. That is null and void the second you turn this into just another “system” to manage through your technology department.”

    • Thanks Amy! My Tech Director recently said it simply – “Let Go”. I had to check his head for a fever, but he was sincere.

    • Greg Brandenburg

      So what your suggesting is that the school technology department is killing educational relevance? Is this because they enforce school policy on computer use?

  2. Don’t forget:

    11) Don’t spend all the implementation money on hardware. Reserve a large chunk for teacher training specifically in how to use the iPad effectively in class
    12) Do not roll it out in one go or launch. Roll out a pilot program with a few teachers, find the teachers that will become ambassadors for the program and have them share the excitement with other teachers. If you have no ambassadors then the pilot failed.

  3. Our middle school librarian just sent me this and I read it with a huge smile on my face. So much of this is what I’ve been wanting to show our people – both teachers and those in admin. True words of wisdom – especially on the control issue. our project has been successful so far but each new step we take (like the imminent expansion of the 1:1 to several new grade levels) feels like I’m required to say it all over again. You’ve given me a great tool here to show them that others have tried, failed, persevered and succeeded with iPads in the hands of students. There’s nothing wrong with that at all – in fact, it’s pretty much how we learn anything! Thanks!

    • Glad you enjoyed it Richard. Yes, we are all retelling the story here as we expand. Short of going door-to-door, it’s nearly impossible to get to everyone though to have a dialogue. So we do our best!

  4. Out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on going strictly to iPads? My small international school must choose between laptops and iPads. Can we teach K-12 technology on an iPad? I know the educational advantages are great in the general classroom, but will we be able to teach the technology skills necessary, or is a computer still needed?

  5. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing,
    and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is something which not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something concerning this.

  6. I agree with all ten things not to do. Many of them are a give with no need to even mention, at least for me. Three however I did focus on. The idea of do not throw all of the apps at once to the staff and students. I can imagine that happening at my school district by an administrator instructor who knows all of the ends and outs of the device. Also, the community would be skeptical about using budget money for iPads. It is a community of farmers and towns that are basically living in the past. One final do not concerning me is limiting staff training just to the summer. So many times teachers need periodic refreshers. If not, they may decide the iPads are too difficult to utilize in the classroom. I will follow and retread this article when I feel I need to.

  7. I agree with the necessity of teacher training to put the I-Pads to the best use in the classroom. Last year we had I-Pads carts to share throughout 7 1st grade classes. This year we are getting 5 I-Pads in each of our classrooms. I think it is assumed that all teachers have their own I-Pad. I do not, so I felt like I was wondering around in unknown territory! This year our tech person offered a few sessions over the summer to help us with the I-Pads but they were not well attended. I appreciate these tips on what not to do!

  8. I have to disagree with the comment that we should not evaluate the program solely on test scores. I agree that there are more important things than how our students score on some random test, however; until PSSA’s stop being what controls our curriculum, our focus for daily lessons, our teaching, our every minute of the day, our what is important and what is fluff. I will have to say that it is very important to determine how students perform on this test after being involved in a certain new program.

    • I think using that as your sole measurement is easy to manipulate one way or the other and won’t show an accurate snap-shot. We are entering our third year of iPads for some of our high school teachers and really just now getting to the transformative side of use (based on SAMR model). If we had measured during the early stages, using test scores only, it wouldn’t have really shown us much because they were used for substitution more than higher order thinking.

  9. I agree using test scores as your sole measurement makes it easy to manipulate and will not give an accurate snapshot.

  10. I agree that using test scores as your only means of measurement will not allow for an accurate view of the outcome.

  11. Becky Gulliford

    My district does not have a 1:1 iPad program. We do have two teachers in my building that were given 8 iPads to use and share with their grade level. #4 Do not try and control everything about the iPad ,really made a point for me. I like the idea that these devices will help personalize the learning of our students. But will have some stress about where the students may go.

  12. My school is a Technology Center. We get high school students from 6 local sending schools in our county. I have seen some of the sending schools provide lap top computers to all of their students.
    On paper it is a great idea. There is an endless supply of free information such as: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and You Tube just to name a few. School districts could save money in the long run by bringing that type of technology into the classroom.
    However when those lap tops show up in class they are loaded with video games. Students attempt to play them during class. It becomes a cat and mouse game between the teacher and the students.

    How can this problem be solved? They of course are kids and they love those video games.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  13. For right now I am very excited about number 8 in the article “Do NOT limit staff training to the summer.” Training during the school year as a working mom of two can be a time management hurdle for sure. However, I am excited to implement the things I learn in an environment of current feedback.

  14. In reading this article, what stood out to me was the student emphasis…”This tool is in the hands of kids, which means it’s student-driven.” This a much different approach to teaching/learning than I think a lot of educators are use to.

  15. I like your point that training should not be limited to the summer. I find it difficult to apply new knowledge to my classroom when I won’t be in my classroom for another 6 weeks. I would much prefer training throughout the year so I can implement the technology over time as I grow more comfortable with it.

  16. Great advice for districts just starting out. A lot of good advice:)

  17. Good read but I’m not sure we need to be the ones to provide this. I’d estimate that 1/3 of my second grade class owns a tablet and 100% own other devices. However that being said, this is some potent information to start a new program.

  18. Melissa Snyder

    Tips were very informative and worth sharing! Thank you for the reminder that the redefinition of teaching and learning doesn’t happen overnight! Changes like these take time and open-minds willing to embrace change and unafraid to fail.

  19. My middle school has a cart that teachers can take out. Some have trained themselves and they use them and some have not. It’s unfortunate because districts spend on the technology but do ever realize the full potential because they don’t adequitily support it. This article is a useful and proactive guide to school integration. Liked it was user friendly.

  20. I totally agree about not limiting the teacher training to summers. I find it easier to implement a program when I first learn it and can then introduce it immediately into my classroom. We are fortunate to have an iPad cart for each grade, so each student has access to their own during “iPad time”. When I feel comfortable with an app, I can then introduce it.

  1. Pingback: Digitising & Some Thoughts « Jeff Ostrowick

  2. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | iPads in Education | Scoop.it

  3. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | iPads in High Schools | Scoop.it

  4. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | Kreativ Læring | Scoop.it

  5. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative « Ristitulo

  6. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | iPads in Education | Scoop.it

  7. Pingback: iPads: 10 great ways to screw it up « History Tech

  8. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | How to create an ebook for academic purposes | Scoop.it

  9. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | #iPadChat | Scoop.it

  10. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | Technology to Teach | Scoop.it

  11. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | iPads and Tablets in Education | Scoop.it

  12. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative « ~Visceral Velocity~

  13. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | Digital Delights | Scoop.it

  14. Pingback: OTR Links 05/03/2012 | doug – off the record

  15. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | Education & Apple, it's in the DNA | Scoop.it

  16. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | mrpbps iDevices | Scoop.it

  17. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative « My Other Blog

  18. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | iPads in education - iPads in het onderwijs | Scoop.it

  19. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | Ipads i undervisningen | Scoop.it

  20. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | eLearning tools | Scoop.it

  21. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | Middle School Stuff | Scoop.it

  22. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | iPad-ology | Scoop.it

  23. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | TCCA Magazine | Scoop.it

  24. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | So What's It All Mean?

  25. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | The eLearning Site

  26. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative « Flexibility Enables Learning

  27. Pingback: The Cost Of Distrust «

  28. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative « cleave21

  29. Pingback: To Tweet or Not To Tweet – It is Now A Conscious Decision | sonya terborg

  30. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative « appleupdatesdotcom

  31. Pingback: Kevin's iSite » Blog Archive » Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative

  32. Pingback: iPad Deployment Checklist for K-12 «

  33. Pingback: K-12 iPad Deployment Checklist « | Teachers Tech

  34. Pingback: Ivan Beeckmans – (d)RAFT Reflection

  35. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative « « kaytibbs

  36. Pingback: Update: Diigo group iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch Users Group (weekly) | ChalkTech

  37. Pingback: 10 MORE things NOT to do in an iPad 1:1 «

  38. Pingback: 10 MORE Things NOT to do in an iPad 1:1 Initiative « | Teachers TechTeachers Tech

  39. Pingback: Why Educators Lie and How Technology Helps Us |

  40. Pingback: Why We Lie and How Technology Helps Us |

  41. Pingback: Listly List - iPad 1:1

  42. Pingback: Top 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Read Top 10 Blog Post Lists |

  43. Pingback: Top 10 Things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative | Te@ch Remix

  44. Pingback: What not to do when you are considering a 1:1 iPad roll out | Just iPadding Along

  45. Pingback: iPad Articles | A Listly List

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,285 other followers

%d bloggers like this: