After purchasing 5 iPads & 5 Macbooks on the last day of term the having a Summer to play before returning to school I thought I’d write an initial post on how the first week back has gone. As a department we’ve decided to focus the initial use of the new apple hardware on our BTEC Sport & A Level PE groups. This week we’ve introduced them all to the new ‘kit’ and given them some familiarisation time using the equipment. This has proven to be more important than first thought, especially with the Macbooks due to the different nature of the software available on mac compared to PC, and the fact that no students had used apple equipment before. For example creating a presentation in Keynote is very different to powerpoint and students need time to work out how to do certain things-they learn quickly mind!
During the introduction sessions it was amazing to see the enthusiasm of the students on seeing and using the equipment. At the start of one lesson, one pupil asked me “can I touch one please sir!”. You can imagine his excitement when I said “here you are-have a play!”
During the week we also had an airport extreme base station installed. This is a wireless internet router which allows up to 50 devices to be online at once. We’ve positioned it so our complete sportshall and 2 teaching classrooms are covered by wireless network. This means we can easily integrate them into practical lessons. During the installation I was shown an excellent app called mover+ which allows files to be flicked from Ipad to Mac easily. On playing around with it we found we could download clips from Youtube on the Mac (using Evom) and send them directly to the iPads. This could be very useful in a practical lesson. Students could identify areas they need to work on and request a video of how to improve in this area. This video could then be sent to their group iPad and they could observe, copy and learn. Many file types can be transferred back and forward from iPad to Mac. With this in mind students could create sound recordings on iPad and send them to each other or the teacher.
On hearing on Twitter about the iPad camera connection kit, further ideas began popping into my head. This kit allows footage/photos to be transferred from sd card to the iPad meaning pupils could record footage on a digital camera/flip cam then send it via iPad to the teacher’s Mac by the end of a lesson.
Some practical issues which have cropped up involve keeping the equipment charged. We have not purchased a charging trolley however we have a store cupboard with power meaning all equipment can be charged when not being used by the use of extension leads within the cupboard.
To maximise the use of the iPads in PE it will be vital to purchase the best applications. For this we have had to send an order for credit to be put into our school iTunes account. Once this is done I’ll start downloading some of the apps I mentioned in my previous post. I hope to have these up and running by next week.
Summing up my thoughts 1 week in – I’m enthused about the excitement shown by students on initial contact with the apple equipment. I’m relieved the practicalities of storage/charging/ and downloading/syncing apps are sorted. Finally the many ideas of integrating them into practical and theory lessons sound great however I am currently left with more questions than answers in this journey to the unknown!
Will these ideas work? Will this technology enhance learning/learning experiences? Will pupils enjoy this type of work within PE? Will it take too much time away from “physical activity”-We’ll see!!