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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Someone said yes to one of my crazy ideas.




I am excited.

Happens a lot I know, but this has been a couple of weeks in the thinking and today I can talk about it.

I am always on the look out for ways to work creatively with a brand. I get the odd email from PR reps and business owners asking me to write about their products on my blog. Lots are great products, events or services but writing about them is boring for me AND for you and rarely do people take me up on any creative ideas I suggest...usually they just ignore me and actually, most just never even write back. 

But not this time. 

I had been reading some articles that indicated learning your way around the computer we use today is really a waste of time for kids at school entry level (Prep for Victoria) so fast is the technology moving, Kinder kids of today won't be using a mouse and clicking file/open/ gdrive/... in twenty years time.

They already swipe, use apps and most won't have a CD player when they leave home.

Popps' school teacher had mentioned they wanted IPads to use in the prep classroom.  As a public school, they have limited resources but they could see the potential of iPads as a teaching tool.

They also know much much more about teaching children and which games/apps are really of use to a child then me. I could tell you that Popps liked a game, but I can't really tell you the real benefit, if any, it gives her education wise.

So I replied to EA Mobile that I would love to talk about their products while in use at my daughters school. To do that they would need to gift an iPad filled with all of their games on it to my daughters school. Not to me, the school. I told them it was a public primary school and that's all. 

They said yes. 

Today the iPad arrived filled with games. I have had a couple of meetings with the principal and some teachers. They are pretty excited about this arrangement. It has meant they have had to set up an itunes account and start thinking about what that means. They are already listing the many ways students at different levels can benefit from access to an iPad.

The EA Mobile iPad will be used by Popps in the classroom as the teacher sees fit. Other children in the class will also use it for their own needs, dependent on their own independent learning plans. 

In three months the teacher will give me some feedback on how she found the games, any that were particular favourites, those that were used for learning and development or others that are used for rewards or in any other ways.

I am keeping this treasure for one day simply to take a little look at all the games options. Though I might need it for two, Immy has been hanging out with the Little Pet Shop Game in the moments when she can get it out of the hands of Mr H as he tries to beat his own score  in a soccer game. 

So thank you EA Mobile for being the first people willing or crazy enough to trust in your own product to do well and take up one of my crazy ideas. You have made a number of people rather happy.


What do you think of using iPads in the classroom? 


35 comments:

  1. Always love your creativity and generosity, Claire.

    I have no idea what I think about kids and technology right now, having taken a big backwards step from it. (A had access to an iPhone for games/photos/music for a while but it caused so many arguments it's been taken away.) I know putting my head in the sand isn't going to work long-term, though. Looking forward to hearing more about how it all goes at Popps' school.

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  2. You are brilliant Claire. What a fabulous idea. I think your brand of crazy is just what we need around here :) And well done EA mobile!! That's enough to make take a second look at you too.

    Our school is currently taking on this debate. The principal has been checking out others school using Ipads and trying to figure out how they can fund them. My girls will probably end up with Ipads before me!!! It simply cannot replace learning the basics of reading, writing and maths - but it is the world our kids will live in - so they might as well learn in a safe and structured school environment.

    Again - love the idea Claire. Go with your crazy!!

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    1. It certainly is our world and the technology offers such a range of apps, I am still blown away by them. Apps they talk to etc, fabulous.

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  3. Our school won a grant for 25 ipads this year for Indonesian teaching (we are a kinder to grade 2 school, less than 100 kids).
    The teachers and the kids are loving it - for language, maths and games.
    Well done - I think it can only be good for the kids to learn more on these

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  4. That's wonderful!! I hope it goes well :-)

    Our little school of 22 is currently implementing an iPad program. We had enough money in our budget to purchase 4, one for each of the teachers plus 1 extra so that activity groups can use them in groups of 4 in the classroom. The teachers will report back in October and if the trial has been successful they will be implemented for each student in Grades 4, 5 & 6. The school will purchase them in bulk and then parents pay them off so that by the time the kids leave the school, they own them outright.

    We definitely need to stay ahead of the technology, otherwise we'll get left behind!

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    1. Hi Kristen, great idea for the school to get organised so that each child has one when they leave, and also to allow the school to recoup the funds and hopefully keep the program going.

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  5. What an awesome concept! Clever girl! :)

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  6. That is fantastic!! I love the idea of iPads in school. My kids are only 6 & 8 and amazing with computers. They understand Apple products like it's in their DNA. Rachel x

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    1. Apple products do seem to have a very user friendly interface.

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  7. Well done! Our (small, rural, state) school also uses iPads. We started with about 4 last year that the classes shared that were put into the budget. There was another purchase for this year - senior classes have about 8 in a class and the littles have 4 per class (there are 12 classes in total). They use them for MANY things. We also have 6-8 desk tops per class and 8 laptops. My girls can use an iPad much better than I can (we don't have one at home but are about to use the School Kids bonus to purchase one). I think that we need to have the technology that they will use in the future available for them to learn with at school. Each of our classrooms has an interactive whiteboard as well - our grade 4 girl has never known any different - lots of walk a thons and other fundraising put them as a priority. Amazing.

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    1. Hi Alli

      All of our class rooms also have interactive whiteboards, when I toured some other schools last year that we're considered better schools, very few had the boards in every single classroom.

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  8. what a fantastic opportunity. I am all for using technology as a learning tool. We have to be realistic about the world our children will be adults in I think and give them every opportunity to thrive in it.

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    1. I agree, in some way, we really need to teach them the way to learn, to encourage them to seek answers and show them the many ways they can do this.

      Technology can open up the world.

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  9. Very clever as always Claire! I love the way your marketing mind works and your generosity is apparent in so many things you do. Popps' class will benefit greatly from this.

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  10. My son is currently involved in research (Sydney Univeristy) with ipad apps for children with additional needs - speech, language etc. My son has a sereve expressive speech delay - Speech therapist have remarked on how well techonolgy has helped my son with his language and connecting with people. Ipad, smart phones and anything with techonlogy is assisting my son learn at a faster past than the old fashion speech therapy sessions.

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    1. Hi Marlo,

      I would love to share some of the names of the apps that you are using for your son, there is a huge number of kids with speech problems related to different learning problems, I am sure they would love to have some advice about what you are using.

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  11. Fantastic Claire, I use them everyday in my classroom and everyday we find new educational experiences that develop skills required of a 21st century learner! Everyone that can help public schools get access to technology is helping develop individuals that are equipped to problem solve their way through life. Thanks and I look forward to hearing your research from this little project.

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    1. Thanks Jodie, I think we are all keen to hear of any great apps that are being used, As a parent it is easier to buy an app that is worth while, rather than just hoping it will be ok! Feel free to add in Amy that you use in the comments too.

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  12. My daughter's school is a techy school, its public but brand new, so they're fully kitted out with the good gear. Each year they ask the parents to donate some $ to maintain the tech and upgrade as necessary, and for that, absolutely I'll fork out cash. They do amazing things, each room also has an electronic whiteboard and teachers fully integrate tech into their education, the way it will be in their future.
    It was actually part of the reason I chose that school. They focus not just on teaching, but modern teaching.

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    1. I have a feeling our school is heading in the same direction, new Prin is certainly tech focussed...currently designing an app to communicate better with parents too.

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  13. Our kids school and kinder have them and they can be such a fantastic resource. Great work by you and EA Mobile.

    I don't have and iPad but I do use my iPhone quite a lot to reinforce learning at home in a different medium. There are some brilliant apps out there.

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    1. Thanks Nicole, some of the apps EA included on the iPad were actually iPhone apps. The technology really is moving so fast that sometimes the apps can barely keep up. Phones have many many apps to use too and they can be a parents saviour especially on really long car trips!

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  14. Great move Claire. It's so essential to keep up with the technology that our kids find second nature. Go EA Mobile for going with your idea!

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  15. Such a brilliant idea! EA Mobile are clever marketers indeed.

    Any technology that a school can get its hands on is beneficial in my opinion. iPads are a terrific resource, x

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  16. Claire,
    Have you thought about a bit of a campaign to get people to donate their old iPads as they upgrade? There is a new iPad due out in the next couple months.
    I have a friend with twins with special needs and her iPad has been invaluable with all the apps available. Her one boy in particular is deaf and has now gotten his second cochlear implant. The communication and speech apps are amazing.
    Well done.

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  17. Thanks for sharing. What a great idea!
    I love it when I pick up Kalyra from pre-school and I see her in a group using the ipad. She talks about the games on it and how to use it and I think it's really cool. This is the way of the world now and we need to help our children learn the skills to use these from an early age. It is so amazing how it helps them learn.
    I love how you are helping the schools here.

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  18. This is such a great idea, good on you for thinking of it and EA Mobile for saying yes. My son is in Grade 1 and this year his school just implemented an 1 on 1 iPad program for the Preps and Grade 6's. They get to keep them as the parents help pay them off - which I would have no problem doing. Then they keep them for Year 7 and in Year 8 they get an iMac(he is in a P-12 school), which the parents also pay off and they get to keep them. The Grades 2 - 5's have 4 iMac's in each classroom to share. The way he can move around a laptop astounds me. He is 7. I am lucky enough to have an iPad myself and my 2 1/2 year old loves playing on it. there is a site, www.theimum.com which has got lots of great app reviews and also lets you know when certain ones are free. I haven't paid for a single app for him yet.

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    1. Hi Nellbe,
      It seems more and more schools will be looking at these types of situations to fund advancements in technology.

      As not all parents have the capacity to provide additional funding for education requirements I am really glad EA Mobile has said yes to this idea. Many of the children in our school would have limited access to such devices otherwise at the moment. I am sure that will change with time (hopefully) as the school funds more items, but this was a great start to get them moving.

      Thanks for the link to iMums too, it is a really great resource, (especially if you are yet to pay for an app, exactly what we are all after!!)

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  19. Great idea!

    Our small country school was given funding for a couple of class sets of ipads that each year level gets to use on occasion. For our student led conferences my girls showed me an animation they had written, created and voiced on the ipads... it was SO cool!

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  20. What a wonderful thing Claire! Wonderful for the school, and wonderful of EA Mobile. As we homeschool, our kids use a fair few iPhone apps as part of their "school work" and although we don't have an iPad it's on the horizon for sure.

    I was talking to a teacher while she was getting her hair done by matt in the salon, and we were talking about how it's not a bad thing to encourage kids to learn via electronic means. In fact, it's essential. We discussed how much the educational landscape has changed and it's just as important for kids to be able to express themselves electronically and online as much as it is by physically writing (if not more so as very little is physically written these days).

    I can see a time in the near future where every student will have access to iPads, and if they don't, then they should have. Congrats for taking a wonderful step in the right direction for your daughter's school :)

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    1. Thanks Ree, I think we are closer and closer to having an ipad per child in the class room. Especially as the teachers go more and more into personalised planning for each child, our teacher last night was telling us how she is getting an app just for our daughter to use for a specific skill she wants her to develop. Amazing!

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