Teacher Julia Hinman, from Avondale Primary School, shares the difference having iPads in her classroom has made. She has found support from other "expert" teachers and participating in the Virtual Learning Network (VLN) discussion groups very helpful.
I’m Julia Hinman and I’m teaching Year 3 at Avondale Primary School in Christchurch.
When we first got the iPads into the classroom I felt very, not apprehensive, but at a loss. I’m not IT savvy, I’m quite new to using things like the iPods, the iPads, even utilising the laptops and computers to their full potential. So I felt a bit overwhelmed.
I feel having been involved in doing all of this that it’s improved my knowledge umpteen-fold, but it’s been really an eye opener seeing the children take on the different things so quickly.
I feel that I’ve got something more to offer later jobs and to help in the other teachers around our school who are probably, even though I don’t feel very confident, (but are) perhaps a step below me as well. So it’s given me a lot of confidence in my teaching. Yeah, it can only go up.
We’ve been very lucky at Avondale to have some people here who are quite IT savvy. I think when you have problems and issues I find it easier to go to somebody who can show me and talk me through each step. So we had that which was really good. We’ve lost one person like that but we’ve got others.
We have found the VLN Network very comprehensive and helpful too. Logging on there and posing questions, or just even reading what other people in the group are talking about, and it’s interesting how you can have the same problem as others that they can solve or give you ideas for, and I think more than anything I’m relying on others to help me and show me and then I can pass that on to others too.