iPad Pro Challenge

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The following post first appeared on Diana Marcus’ blog. Diana is a member of the BPS EdTech Team and a Mobile Learning Coach for Burlington Public Schools.

The issue is this: While we are a 1:1 iPad district for students, educators currently receive two devices, an iPad and either a laptop or Chromebook. From a device management and financial perspective, two devices per education may quickly become an unsustainable arrangement. Pedagogically, the vision is to have teachers teaching and students learning on the same platform. Practically, most teachers struggle with doing a number of teaching and administrative tasks on the smaller iPad screen. Inputting grades and report card comments are two tasks that come to mind as being borderline torturous using Safari or Chrome on the iPad.

Unsurprisingly, as an unrepentant early adopter, I have lusted after the iPad Pro since the day it arrived in the EdTech Department. Borrowing the iPad Pro for a weekend, I was impressed by the ability to split-screen multitask, the clarity and size of the screen, and the feel and accuracy of the “Pencil.” I was practically in tears when I had to return the Pro to factory settings so others could test it out and have nudged Director of Technology Integration, Dennis Villano, for the chance to explore the Pro’s potential further ever since.

Finally, Dennis issued a challenge – give up all of my other devices and see if an iPad Pro could serve as the one and only device for educators at BPS. I actually have to hand them over to be locked up for the duration. Usually, as a device hoarder, I would have been hesitant. This time, however, I’m ready to jump in and go for broke with nothing but an iPad Pro.

Check back here over the next few months to see how I make out.

On my list of abilities to test out:

  • Accessing and using our learning/student management systems;
  • Creating and teaching lessons, including accompanying materials;
  • Managing workflow (student assignments, feedback);
  • Blogging;
  • Screencasting and other “flipped classroom” techniques;
  • Collaborative work across different applications;
  • Professional Development (providing and partaking) within different applications/settings;
  • Document annotation;
  • Specialized needs for math and science (notations, simulations, etc.);
  • Living without/finding alternatives for some of my “go-to” Mac and Chrome apps;
  • Keeping just about everything in the cloud without the availability of major hard-disk space.

What am I missing?

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