As mentioned in my previous blog post ‘Maximize learning with iPads‘ I decided to run some training, with an initial focus on animation and Assessment for Learning. I ran the pilot course through Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance (OTSA). This initially began through a discussion with Adam Arnell, the Director of OTSA, and my Head. Thus far I had welcomed a range of teachers to observe me teaching with iPads, both from my school and other schools. I was increasingly talking with a range of heads and ICT leaders during any free moment. SATs were quickly approaching so I pressed the brakes slightly and decided that a change of strategy is essential for sharing good practice. Reluctantly at first, I went for a CPD INSET model. Both evenings I did training differently and both times it was received in a range of ways.
Prior to the first CPD, I realised that there was an app missing on the iPads. So, in a mad rush I tried to get them updated. However, in this instance, other apps were removed from the iPads and sweat started pouring from my brow. People had iPads without all the apps on and that was a disappointment. This was in a large hall and we looked at lots of apps initially. The apps included ‘My Pet can talk’, ‘Tellagami’, ‘ChatterKids’ and ‘Morfo-Booth’. We then split into a carousel where teachers, with the help of our digital leaders’, rotated round three stations including: stop-animation, augmented reality and green screen. I wanted the first session to be a taster and allow people to explore. Teachers were given QR codes and asked to share on padlet how they would use the different apps too.
The feedback revealed the following:
- Digital Leaders helping teachers had a big thumbs up from the majority of teachers
- Teachers feeling that they might leave with one or two apps to try out (we looked at so many, chances are that one of them would work).
- An example was given from another Oxfordshire School of how they have used certain apps
- The pace was too fast for some and too slow for others
- The room was too large so lacked intimacy
- Not all the apps were on every iPad
- Not every iPad worked
- I did not talk enough about how the apps could be used to maximize learning.
- I did not go into lots of detailed instructions on how to use the app.
The second session was very different. Instead of a large hall, I hosted it in my classroom. The iPads were set up a week in advance with specific apps that I wanted to share. I also asked teachers to bring their laptops along with them, which they did.
Initially we had 13 atendees, but soon another 15 joined us. We began with a discussion time about our successes since the last session. Following that, I led us through Showbie and Nearpod at a much slower pace and then ended with PingPong, Socrative and Post-it Plus. Teachers worked in smaller groups to discuss and try out these apps. We had some digital leaders who helped the teachers again too.
- More intimate setting
- I didn’t have to shout to be heard by everyone
- Everyone had the apps on their iPad
- Most people were happy with the pace
- I was able to explore the apps in greater detail
- Everyone was very encouraging
- Some people actually preferred the first evening- with lots of apps that they could choose from- and got bored during the second
- 30 people, in either setting, is a lot of people- and it is difficult to train a group of teachers from a range of settings and experiences.
- Internet connection problems for everyone who brought a laptop- the password key didn’t appear to work!
Overall, I was much happier with the second workshop. Teachers seemed happier and had become used to iPads from the previous session. It was more fun, too. Not necessarily due to the apps but because everyone was in a safer and more calming environment. Teachers were very appreciative and I am considering what I could do in the near future to support schools who are beginning to use iPads to maximize learning.
Excitingly, most attendees were after more training and felt they benefited from what I offered. Now I need to consider what shape the training should take.
What is your preferred method of CPD training?
Which courses have you been on that were exceptional? Why were they?