2010-2011 Bert Church - Mobile Learning

Objective - To further enhance classroom practice and schoolwide implementation of 21st Century Learning through technological innovation in my own classroom, contributing to school wide technology innovation, divisional knowledge sharing and comprehensive technology implementation in my classroom. In addition, this project will initiate an intensive study of student learning and technology use with tablet technology providing research and feedback for future initiatives.

Goals - 1. To enhance the implementation of mobile learning begun with the last technology innovation fund grant in the school by updating the program with devices that offer alternative input and applications for learning. 2. To offer the previous iPod touch innovation devices to the broader school and create multiple disciplines in which mobile technology can be tested and implemented.

Proposal - These goals provide an excellent opportunity to provide Bert Church High School with an increase in overall innovative technology available to all teachers, and a cutting edge trial in mobile technology that will inform future mobile device implementation in schools across Rocky View.

Pilot I: Classroom Based iPad Pilot - Funding from the technology innovation fund would be used to purchase 37 iPad devices and accessories for classroom use and implementation as educational tools. These iPads will be used for ALL classroom activities, producing a fully digital classroom environment. Students will connect with Moodle for content creation and submission, and will have access to numerous apps designed to heighten the learning and achievement in the classroom. Particular focus will be on differentiation of instruction and learning and providing students with an active, digital environment in which to connect with their work. With my experience in running the iPod pilot, and my use of an iPad for the past four months, I am well equipped and knowledgeable in the area of mobile technology and digital learning to initiate and sustain this pilot to create effective methods and suggestions for future implementation of iPads in a broader context.

Pilot 2: Ubiquitous Access Pilot - In addition to the class set of iPads, I further propose a pilot of 5 iPad devices to be given to students to use exclusively for one month cycles. The intent of this program is to gather feedback from students on the impact of the iPad device on their learning with constant access as opposed to simply in the classroom. By gathering video and digital product feedback, we may begin to create a picture of the way students may want to use these devices, and structure some of our technology strategies based on the feedback.

With a successful pilot application, the previous iPod Touch project will be moved into the larger school community for use by other teachers and classes. Interest in the iPods has been growing steadily and I am currently unable to loan the iPods out to teachers as often as they would like to use them. Science, math, physical education and arts classes have all expressed interest in using the iPods. Our recent school wide innovation grant transforming the library into a digital learning hub also benefits from this proposal.

Implications and Expected Outcomes of this Proposal
Students in the 21st century must be working with and using the technologies that they are interested in and use most effectively. Students are comfortable entering text on iPods, and the added screen size will allow for full length content creation on the iPad. This project will see students working in their way with their technology, and from what I have seen in my own classroom with the iPod pilot, this will lead to further engagement and achievement by students. My own experience with the iPad has guided me to this proposal as I have integrated this device into my teaching practice and have seen first-hand the difference it has made to my professional work. I relish the opportunity to provide the same difference for my students. My research aim is to attain feedback that can be compiled and shared among educators to support mobile technology decision making. This research would serve to benefit not only Rocky View Schools, but also the education field as a whole. The implications of using mobile devices in education is an area of essential research that must be reported on as mobile devices become more powerful and attractive for purchase by schools than desktop equivalents. Based on connections I have made in working on my iPod Touch initiative, and requests I get for information about it, I believe Rockyview is positioning itself as a leader in innovation, and I would be excited to present my initial findings for this pilot during my presentations at the Mobile Learning Experience in Phoenix, Arizona in April of 2011.

Costs of the Proposal - This proposal will require a combination of hardware and software solutions to set up and maintain. In addition to the 42 iPads, we will require a Macbook with a specifically designed cart for charging and transferring data to the devices. We will also require a case for each of the iPads for protection and elevation for typing. In addition to the hardware for these devices, a MobileMe account allows for tracking of the iPads, information dissemination and application purchase and installation for the devices. Estimated total cost is $30,000

In Closing - Thank You for the opportunity to submit this project for consideration. I am excited by the possibility of enhancing my innovative approach to learning for my students and furthering our school's use of mobile devices to support our 21st century learning environment. I would appreciate any feedback that you may have, and if you have any questions or require clarification, please call or email me directly.

Submitted by:

Derek Keenan
21st Century Learning Lead, Bert Church High School

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