Teacher’s Trial by Tech – 1:1 Staff Trial Begins


After months of research, trial/error and persuasion our 1:1 iPad programme is presented to staff this week. Attempting to predict resistance and stumbling blocks has been time consuming but hopefully we are prepared for any questions that may be asked.


Twitter has become central to my preparation and I am indebted to @fodehoney @ICTEvangelist and @JinSooDHuh, to name but a few, for helping with my set-up presentation. Without information from teachers who have trialled 1:1 programmes it would have been easy to assume every teacher would buy into the power of iPads in the classroom. Thankfully I have been encouraged to expect resistance and prepare to support staff every step of the way at different levels of experience with technology.


The pedagogical approach will centre around the iPad as ANOTHER tool to help with learning inside and outside the classroom. The intuitive nature of the device and apps will hopefully allow ‘ownership’ of the device in the classroom to develop. It is ‘ownership’ that has been identified as key to the success of the trial and at no point will apps and iPad use be thrust upon staff. Regular Tuesday training sessions will allow for Q&A rather than ‘presentation and do’ and this should encourage a sharing atmosphere amongst the staff. A further consideration of the research (thanks to Perse School for Girls) is the availability of support as regularly as possible. Our IT support team are enjoying the steep learning curve! Hopefully my email inbox will grow and  must find time to respond with support as quickly as possible.


The technical support of the trial has been less of a concern for me as I have an Assistant Head who is dealing with the logistics behind the wireless network and the iPad lease. It is clear that there are issues with wireless security and how the network will support increased activity is part of the trial’s remit. So far there has always been a solution to any barrier but we are confident the trial will throw up new challenges.

The students will receive their iPads in two months time, so the staff have time to discover the way an iPad can support learning in the classroom. I am hopeful they will want to see the iPad in use during my lessons and curiosity will lead us towards a common goal.

Top 5 Considerations for Staff Trial

  1. Pedagogy is the driver behind the trial
  2. Encourage discovery of iPad’s use in classroom
  3. Support must be available as much as possible
  4. Provide forum for sharing, trial and error
  5. Remember why the iPad has been chosen for the trial!

Teacher’s Trial by Tech – 1:1 programme – A School Visit

Planning, meetings and pedagogy have been brought sharply into focus after a visit to the iPad trialling Perse School for Girls, Cambridge (to whom I am extremely grateful).

Despite feeling confident our 1:1 trial will work, (thanks to Twitter) observing iPads at work in a school is crucial to our own development. Below is a summary of the major considerations from our visit.


  • 21st Century Learning is supported by the iPad and apps.
  • AFL is an easier process during the lesson with the new technology.
  • Differentiation is supported by the technology with teacher input.
  • Can the classroom space be changed to enhance learning for student and teacher?
  • IAuthor is a genuinely exciting opportunity to tailor information for different students.


  • A proxy server and its conditions can be a real hurdle. Solution – Netbox Blue which has login and out authentication and changeable timeframe automatic logout.
  • Small scale apps can cause problems with accessibility to ports within proxy server.
  • Wireless ‘load’ is spread between virtual switches inside blanket wireless coverage (Extracom).
  • Sharepoint can be used with virtual desktop for students.
  • Ahem – iPad implementation cheaper than current ICT model of leasing.


  • Allow time for interested staff to discover iPad use.
  • Provide regular opportunities for training/drop-ins. Ensure it is light and simple for all.
  • Support trial and error and reassure staff that there are many ways to use the iPad/apps to teach the same topic.
  • As staff become comfortable with the technology this will filter down to less confident teachers.
  • Shift from laptop to iPad must be supported with access to desktop particularly for Sims and office use.
  • Fostering ownership of the device is crucial to successful implementation of the 1:1 trial.


  • Initial staff presentation should be low key and emphasise voluntary nature of the trial.
  • Teacher iPads should be pre-loaded with simple productivity and education apps for immediate use.
  • Allow staff to purchase apps to experiment with during the trial

Following the visit this blog will document each stage of the 1:1 trial to help reflection throughout the process.

Any comments are much appreciated.

Teacher’s Trial by Tech – 1:1 Programme

Alongside the implementation of iPad use in PE and the ‘flipped’ A Level class a wider school project is gathering pace.

As a school we are trialling a year 7 class of 30 students with iPad2 and an optional sign up for staff. The staff trial will last 6 weeks, before the students are given a device for the summer term. The hope is that this will allow us to identify key issues with pedagogy and staff development alongside concerns with our wireless network.


  • Enhance learning
  • Discover if the iPad in education is a ‘game-changer’ for the school
  • Revisit pedagogy across the curriculum
  • Create a sense of development across the school community
  • Provide teachers with a tool to enable them to meet the demands of their classroom


  • Staff enthusiasm/time/involvement
  • Technology education for all
  • Rethinking curriculum map/SOW
  • Short-term mentality
  • Wireless network
  • ICT support

Having been tasked with the Learning and Teaching aspects of the trial, I am concerned with a number of issues. Twitter has provided the evidence for attempting the trial and on an individual level I am convinced. However, presenting to staff and suggesting they could rethink their delivery of the curriculum is another matter.

Many staff still believe in the ‘content must come from the mouth of the teacher’ mantra. The single most important aspect of the tablet in the lesson is that it allows for discovery. If staff fail to embrace problem solving/creative thinking or guided discovery then the impact of the 1:1 programme may be lost.

There are a number of apps that will be suggested to staff to enhance learning and they will be useful tools in the classroom. The apps are not the be all and end all. For the trial to be a success I believe staff would need to embed the device into module delivery and allow students to try/fail/discover and question. If I’m honest, I’m not convinced all staff are particularly happy with the pedagogy behind such delivery.

My brief for the coming weeks is to ensure all presentations to staff centre around the iPad as another tool to enhance learning. The nuances of delivery and use of apps (Dropbox/Evernote/Subject specific) are secondary to the pedagogy behind the trial. Alongside the children, the teacher is still the most important part in the education of our students and I hope I can maintain that message. If I concentrate on the device I believe it will become a fad like so many technologies in the past.

Any suggestions to help with the highs and lows of such a trial are gratefully received.

Teacher’s Trial by Tech – The Flipped Class. Results are in!



The 30 day trial is over – results of the test are in – time to make some conclusions.

Daunting at first!

Information on the flipped classroom can be found here http://edreach.us/2011/11/28/the-flipped-classroom-revisited/ Many thanks to @jonbergmann for his expertise.


  • Twitter to send information/links home
  • Educreations showmeapp to deliver instruction at home
  • Youtube clips for information
  • Internet articles for research
  • Tinyvox to tweet verbal instruction

The trial students were required to use ‘homework’ time to discover the new module and learn at home. Lesson time was used for any activity I deemed appropriate to embed learning – group discussion, debating, visual display, own examples etc. It also allowed apps to be used in class and Edmodo to feature in written tasks.


UNIT TEST – Past exam questions

40% of class received A*/A – last year 24%

80% of class received A*-B – last year 56%

There could be a number of different reasons that the results are up by a grade average compared to last years cohort – different intake, revision techniques, my own enthusiasm!

However, rather than analyse a single comparison my conclusion is – I DIDN’T LET THEM DOWN!!

Initial fears have been tempered and I will continue to allow the majority of content to be delivered in the student’s home. Teaching is more rewarding, learning is interactive/engaged and I feel increasingly helpful to individuals. I believe the ratio of content delivery in the classroom must be constantly adapted but I need to trust the flipped class model.

A positive to carry forward – the flipped class allows for increased engagement in the classroom. 

If you are thinking of trialling a flipped class I can assure you it is worth the effort. Every facet of pedagogy is a consideration but I have survived and it has been a very positive experience.

If you would like to discuss my flipped class then please feel free to tweet me @syded06