So, after the 2013 trial and one year consolodation, Craighead Diocesan School is going with compulsory ownership of iPads at Year 10. Now, before anyone gets upset about cost, these are available new from the Apple Store for $450, which amounts to $110 a year for each of the four years of use they'll use it - less than $20 per subject per year.
Now the serious "fun" begins. Last year's trial team need to convince our colleagues that iPads, when used carefully and thoughtfully, can actually become a seriously useful learning and teaching tool. Teachers are going to have to devote a majority chunk of their PD in the second half of 2014 and through 2015 to learn how to make effective use of these devices.
We will be training teachers to measure the effect of any trials they undertake, how to store and distribute resources (Google Drive and iTunes U), how to communicate with classes (iMessage and Facebook probably), how to provide junior tutoring from senior students (small group iMessage), allow students to record notes, video clips, etc on their devices in one place (Book Creator) and how to manage time and questioning that increases so much when students have access to their teachers so much more easily.
In the 2013 trial the big discoveries were a significant increase in collaboration and communication (face to face as well!) between the students; the students knowing exactly where they were in their learning and where everyone else is - so that they know who to talk to in order to reach their "next stage of learning" and are more engaged in their learning journey; and a more developed ability to use a wide variety of applications to achieve a goal.
The school now has the infrastructure to deal with this next stage in educational technology and learning. 100Mbps (upload and download) over a free Network For Learning fibre connection, as well as 22 Ruckus wireless APs providing Internet coverage throughout the campus and Boarding Facilities.
What a perfect time for the Ministry working group to release a report on Future-focused Learning...
It seems that things have changed since I last applied for funding to support a concert series in Timaru. Way back, I organised a concert for Martin Setchell in Timaru and it was an incredible success. Radio, newspaper and poster advertising around Timaru - it took some big money but was more than paid for by the ticket sales. As well, a free concert for Primary School children filled the basilica and every child got to go up to the organ and play on the manuals as they slipped across the organ bench in a long line, blew in a organ pipe and returned downstairs to their buses.
That concert was supported with a "guarantee against loss" from Creative New Zealand, and that allowed us to be confident that our risk in advertising would not cause personal financial disaster! Twenty years later and now the requirement is that I apply to Creative Communities - supported now by regional councils. Guarantee Against Loss no longer exists - you can only apply for cash.
So, I duly prepare my budget and get quotations for modest advertising, assuming that the best option is to run a SERIES of concerts - surely advertising 4 concerts together can be more effective than advertising only one. Turns out that, with the possible disaster of only getting 60 people for each concert, the budget suggests a shortfall of $1710 for the series! Creative Communities offer $700 ($166 per concert). This is just over half of the normal $300 per concert they've given others recently.
A $1000 personal risk remains. I think it's better to apply for individual concerts in the future...