Earlier this week, I visited the new Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School, in Waverly, Iowa. Their school was devastated by flooding back in 2008. With the help from FEMA, state, and local resources, the school reopened in the fall of 2011 as a 5th grade thru 8th grade middle school featuring a 1:1 ipad rollout to all 600 students. District-wide, each teacher has an ipad and each student grades 5 thru 8 has a 16Gb iPad. Next year, iPads will be deployed to all 9th thru 12th graders (approx 750 more).
Links related to Waverly-Shell Rock’s 1:1 iPad deployment…
- My favorite quotes from visiting Waverly Shell Rock’s 1:1 iPad Deployment
- Waverly-Shell Rock iPad Open House Notes by Dave Mourlam
- Waverly-Shell Rock’s Official iPad FAQ
- Waverly-Shell Rock’s iPad Policy
Media reports related to WSR’s iPad deployment…..
- Waverly-Shell Rock kids take education in hand
- Middle Schoolers Enhance Learning with iPads in Classroom
- An iPad For Every Student
My full notes………………
1. This past winter break, they placed an Apple TV in every room to connect iPads to projector. It’s located on top of the short throw projector and has been a huge success, allowing students and teachers to connect to each classroom projector.
2. The furniture was designed to be entirely portable, almost everything is on wheels. We loved the whiteboard tables! http://pic.twitter.com/vNjBEgyH
3. We love the teacher AV desk. In most rooms it holds only the document camera, but it can be lowered or raised – giving the teacher the option to use the document camera at standard desk height or while standing. http://pic.twitter.com/8JdNRtwP
4. There was lots of soft furniture all all around, including classrooms. http://pic.twitter.com/HpWJirCq
5. We really liked the science classroom setups, with the lab stations along the walls and the traditional classroom space in the middle. http://pic.twitter.com/nfKU8iWA
6. Love the lunch room view from above! http://pic.twitter.com/qDgzAtcJ
8. They love soft furniture – and even the filing cabinets have seats!! http://pic.twitter.com/BmhOl001
9. While touring the building, we overheard “Our school needs a flood !”
10. We asked the kids…. who determines who gets the comfy furniture in the classroom? Apparently its first come, first serve – and I bet they have very few tardies!
11.“We don’t have a technology initiative, we have a learning initiative”
12.When they moved to iPads, there was some concerns such as “How are we going to teach Prezi”. Of course, this lead to the conversation that we don’t teach Prezi, we teach presentation skills, collaboration, etc. They referred to this as the Great Prezi breakdown of 2010.
13. One of their goals: everyone has technology so they can take the focus off technology.
14. Families purchase insurance for their iPads, or use current home insurance, but proof is provided before the iPad is allowed to go home.
15. They talked about stranded professional development, where teachers were able to select the strand that was appropriate based on their current experience.
16. When asked: How long will an iPad last, when are you planning to replace them? Best guess, and current planning is for 3 years, although there is some concern that there will a time period when the device is functioning, but can no longer accept software updates. (comparable to how some iOS devices were not able to update to iOS 5 and could not longer update applications)
17. Who buys the apps? The district provided some standards such as Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and iMovie, but school and departments had the option to buy more
18. Student iPads are standardized, students can not select or download apps on their own.
19. Internet access for the iPads is tracked and filtered (through LightSpeed, students are required to log in every time they open a browser). iPads that go home are not filtered. They discussed this with families and decided that home filtering is home issue. They also provided families with various filtering options for home.
20. Approximately 50% of the families have wireless at home, however, students without wi-fi at home still found the iPad useful at home. District is approximately 13% free/reduced lunch.
21. During a panel discussion, a teacher commented “The iPad won’t transform education, I have to, it’s still up to the teacher”
22. During the panel, students shared what they liked about iPads – including having all their homework in one place!
24. Tell us about what things frustrated you…..
After the panel discussion, an optional “technical” session was offered for visitors to ask questions about the infrastructure and management of the iPads.
1. Early on they had printing issues… but they mentioned (joked) that this helped reduce printing. Currently they are using HP ePrint– students send their documents to a specific email address assigned to a printer. This is sufficient for now, but they are looking for better options.
2. They use Casper Suites to manage the updatesto the iPads – students do NOT have the iTunes accounts and can not update/install applications. Student iPads are NOT using iCloud, as the students are not 13 and do not qualify for an iCloud account.
3. The model they are planning for the 9-12 ipads: Use Casper to push the apps out to student iPads, but then let students use their own iTunes account to download/install/update apps of their choice.
4. They were asked: is the 16Gb model sufficient? Answer: yes, so far it is. They have had a few students who filled the storage space, but it was always due to a large number of videos and photos, which were rarely educationally related.