When implementing new technologies staff PD is important. Principal Chris McKinlay describes how iPads were introduced first to staff then into the classroom.
We really recognise that the professional development for the staff is important with the new technologies we implement into the classrooms. So when we first brought in the iPads we actually got together as a staff and Craig was responsible for loading on some apps that were high value in our opinion and so we then shared those with the staff. We’ve used staff meeting times to actually have a play with them. One of the things that’s been really successful is making the iPads available to staff to take home in the holidays. They take one home with them and they actually play with it and learn new things about it in the holidays. The whole school approach has been important. We get teachers to share their practice in the classroom each term where we go and we actually visit each of the classrooms and teachers share what they’ve been doing. So when we did an ICT one recently, the staff could share how they’d been using them. That’s really good for the other teachers because they can see the progression through the school but also it gives them fresh ideas that they can try.
From there, we’ve reached a point now where we’ve done a lot of in house type PD and we now need some outside experience to see what other people are doing. In that vein we’ve selected to take our entire staff to ULearn this year and I know that while they’re that at ULearn lots of teachers are going to be going to different workshops but some have selected to go to ones on iPads so that they can see what other schools are doing and we can get a wider perspective on it.