photograph by me
AESDelhi has been 1:1 with iPads in their Middle school since August of this year. Hey also have 360 iPads in their Elementary School. They are in deep. They have really placed this tool center stage in their learning plan. The hallways are busy with students moving around, learning in groups, working on projects, their iPads are always within arm’s reach. It was interesting and relieving to see that their notebooks, their whiteboards, and their manipulatives were all equally present.
My future boss (next year I will be our middle school technology integrator) and I visited AES Delhi because we too are going 1:1 with iPads in the middle school. Our 6th grade will get theirs in March (in a few weeks), and the 7th through 10th grades will get theirs next year. David Beaty, AES’s Head of Technology, welcomed us to come and trace their journey so far with them, and perhaps learn about some of the successes that they have had, and to talk through some of the more challenging parts of the process so far. With that in mind we flew out to Delhi and spent a couple of days with David’s remarkable and extremely generous team. I am now on the plane flying back home to Muscat. My mind is swimming with inspiration as well as frank warnings of what it means to put iPads into the hands of 250 teenagers all at once.
Gary Coyle was generous with his time in the Elementary School, we had the chance to talk to him at length. He asked us great questions about our program and ideas, and when he talks about iPads, his ideas always move on directly from the iPad to the learning that it can facilitate. He is all about the learning, and is great to talk to.
With Dana Watts we moved at a different pace. She is, after all, Dana Watts…I feel as if we re-lived the last 8 months of her life in a few hours. She managed to give us such a complete picture of what it really means to venture into the waters that we are fast approaching. We talked about set-up logistics, tech support, iPad boot camp (a huge and amazing project of hers), breakage policy, parent education, parent push back, teacher push back, teacher success, and on and on. She was so frank with us, and gave us complete access to her experiences. Like Gary, she gave us big pieces of her precious time.
Maureen Cullen took us to meet a couple of her High School teachers, Mike Caemmerer (Drama) and David Hoover. Both of them have been using iPads in their classes, and they took time to articulate what they think that the iPads brought to their class. They both talked about how they now teach their courses differently than they did before. They were both able to elaborate on what was challenging for them as well as what was successful. Maureen Talked with us about the journey that the AES high school is taking, moving through iPads and next year going 1:1 with MacBook Airs.
David Beaty was our guide throughout. He took us on a tour of the school, introduced us to what seemed like a thousand people, and answered what seemed like a thousand questions. He and his staff seemed eager to learn from us, and especially from the reflective process that they were engaged in. Really, it was a great learning experience. I guess this post is about the people rather than the iPads. Maybe I can blog about the logistical solutions that we learned about, but this needs to come first. Plus, if I am frank with myself as well as you, I will never sit down and translate all of my notes into a blog post. That would be pretty dry. If you want to know what we learned, you have a couple of options. Call up David Beaty in Delhi and ask him if you can visit, or comment below and I can tell you all about it, maybe with a Skype call.
Thanks again to everyone in Delhi.