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What. A. Week.

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As the title suggests, what. a. week. Chaotic! Bedlam! Hectic! And… i loved every bit of it! Between teaching, working with staff, solving IT based issues, and everything else it was the week that was. The two highlights for the week however would certainly have been our1:1 MacBook Parent/Student Rollout Evenings and the visitors we had to out College to see the great things happening in regards to our iPad trial!

I’ll start with the 1:1 Rollout Evening. These nights are always chaotic. The setting up, the ensuring that all documentation is ready to go and be handed out, that all MacBooks, Bags, Key Tags, and Student Login Details are ready to be distributed all make for a lot of work! We ran four rollout sessions over two massive nights and and i am pleased to say that all went smoothly! Students and parents were informed that they had to attend and sign all relevant documentation to recieve their MacBooks, which, of course, meant that over the two nights just about all 150 students and their parents showed up, which was fantastic to see.

The hour long sessions were broken down in to three parts involving three speakers, one of those being myself introducing the evening and giving an overview of our 1:1 MacBook program. We had two representatives in James and Hayley from Mac1, our Mac Supplier, talk to parents and students about looking after and caring for the MacBooks which was great. The highlight of our sessions however was having Tony Richards (@itmadesimple) from ITmadeSimple attend all sessions and talk to those who attended re: the issues of Cyber Safety and Cyber Bullying! Tony really gave an eye opening presentation outlining the importance for our students to not give away detailed personal information, any personal information as a matter of fact, to any online site. Tony demonstrated just how easy it is for students to be tracked using the information that they post via Social Networking sites which really got people in the audience talking, none more so than teachers who were attending the sessions also. It was just as eye opening to see the importance we all must place on Cyber Bullying and the lasting effects that it can have on all those involved. I’ll be posting about these issues and sharing resources with you all soon!

So… we now have 99% of all Yr 7 students with their own MacBook and all looking like kids in a lolly shop! The staff in Yr 7 can not also contain their excitement as all their planned lessons are containing rich and relevant I.T. based activities!

The other major event to occur last week was the hosting of two College’s to our school to see the exemplary things happening in our iPad trial. The first of our visitors was Holly from Mallauna College. Holly is currently involved in Professional Learning Leave and is looking at how the implementation of mobile technologies can assist and foster learning in students. Holy got to see the Yr 6 students in action and was impressed to the great ways in which the iPads were being implemented in in to the teaching program. It will be great to see the results of Holly’s Professional Learning Leave findings and whether her College decides to go down the 1:1 iPad path.

The second group of visitors that we hosted were from Braemar College. Paul, the AP, Rod, the manager for IT, and Christine, eLearning Coordinator all were keen to see the iPads in action as well as they are considering going 1:1 in specific areas of their College. It was a pleasure to host these groups of visitors and answer their questions about anything and everything related to iPads, 1:1 learning and mobile technologies. It is great that people out there are hearing about the great things the staff at MLC are doing with the iPads and are willing to take time out of their busy day to visit us and see what we are doing!

I hope that i was some assistance to these visitors and that they do decide to go down the path of 1:1 iPads in their educational settings. Each day i am seeing more benefits to using iPads for learning and can see these devices becoming more and more popular amongst education institutions.

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And that was a small part of the week that was.