Creating a School iPad Program – Post 9: Staff Presentation Keynote and iPad Agreement

I have been asked if I could share some of the resources I made for the staff section of my iPad program. Here are the first two.

First up is my presentation slides, might be handy to see what I covered, but I’m afraid without my (obviously) charming self they will be lacking in context. Remember, my goal here was to be very basic and let the staff explore over the holidays.


Secondly, here is the iPad Staff Agreement I put together for my staff to look at and sign, again, with plenty of context and explanation from myself.

iPad Agreement

Creating a School iPad Program – Post 8: Teacher Usage and Support

So, it has been a little while since I have updated you on how my iPad Program is going (which the whole, holidays, San Diego, and Baby thing getting in the way) so this post will sum up what has happened and how we are going.

First up my presentation and rollout of the devices to staff when very well. This was done in the week before the holidays. I went over the basics, but I really wanted staff to just play with the device and explore. Now that I am back it has been great to see a lot of this going on. Not only have staff been exploring the device, but a range of apps that will help in the teaching and learning in the classroom. I already have evernote masters, GarageBand conductors & iTunes U course creators!. This exploration stage will continue this term as I build of PD, resources and support for the staff.


One of my key resource in supporting the staff in this phase is my iTunes U Course. Created specifically for staff it will offer a wealth of personalised resources. It is also home to my Apple Genius Sessions, weekly PD I am running that will focus on certain topics such as the iPad, Apps, Resource Creation, Embedding the device in the classroom, and a bunch more. Obviously staff are very busy and adding another meeting day to focus on eLearning and ICT could be a bit much. This course allows staff to go at their own pace, but it is very encouraging to have so many turn up in person for the sessions!IMG_0188

So far everything has been very encouraging. By supporting staff, providing them with as much resources as possible, and always taking the time to answer any question or concern they have on the way as been paramount in the success so far, that, and I think I am very lucky to have such and enthusiastic and passionate group of people to work with.

Next up, I am feverishly trying to get the class sets up and running so I can head into the classroom and begin some exiting team teaching projects!


Never underestimate the eagerness of students to help with the cool new toys, they make a great child workforce…and cheap!


ADE Global Institute 2014 – Post 3: The Week Wrap-up

Well, the week is up. I will add some more detailed posts in the coming days, but as I wait for my plane out of here I thought I would add some details of the more technical stuff I got up to.

First up, let me preface this with the below image which was used for most of the Apple Lab sessions:


So, here is some of what I got up to in the Apple Labs:

  • Met the lead on the iWork and iLife suites (Pages, Keynote, iMovie, GarageBand, etc.) and got some real hands on time with the software. The iCloud integration and collaboration tools will be great for both students and teachers and I am always amazed at just how powerful GarageBand is on the iPad and already planning some workshops with my students.
  • Met the lead on iBooks Author, nothing new that I haven’t been doing already, but I was able to ask some questions on future features I am looking for (and of course, can’t talk about here)
  • iTunes U – This was a fun one, just after lunch so I was lucky enough to be the only one in the room with all 4 leads on the platform and asked all the questions that have been bugging me for a while.
  • Accessibility – This was a great lab demonstrating the potential to reach all learners in the classroom, no matter what disability they may have, using the accessibility features built into iPad and Mac. Very inspiring stuff, and this will be my first session I am going to put together and present to may staff next week (I will also post it here and on my new iTunes U course – more info on that later)
  • E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth – We met with the creator of this project and talked about the work involved. It would be nice to have their budget and time (27 months) to put together my Multitouch Books. As a side note, I did also meet E.O Wilson personally on the elevator on the first morning here – he ended up being the guest speaker that day.
  • Swift and PIXAR - We were lucky to have a session from Randy Nelson, talking about the new Swift programming language and how we can bring this into the classroom. But I have to say I was more interested in his time as head of PIXAR University.
  • And finally, I gave my presentation in front of 500 ADEs and Apple employees, which was a fun experience and I will post more detail on that one soon, but here is a sneak peek:

Remember, I was in San Diego…

ADE Global Institute 2014 – Post 1: New Country, New Run (Venice & Muscle Beach)

Not necessarily a post related to the ADE Global Institute, but a small thing of mine. Whenever I stop in a new country I like to go for a wonder and a walk, generally in that order.

I arrived in LA yesterday (and will be travelling down to San Diego this arvo) and spent the day wandering around LA. It is summer here, and there is a beach (both things I am severely lacking back home) so I headed down to the famous Venice Beach for a bit of a run. Just a few things you might spot in the video below: awesome beach, lots of dogs, the basketball court from White Men Can’t Jump (but no Woody Harrelson I’m sorry to say), I dog loaded with cash, Zoltar!, The outdoor gym Arnold Schwarzenegger used (and giant people who make me fill inferior), and a few other oddities on the way…

Make sure and pump the video up to full HD


My upcoming ADE Showcase Session for Apple in San Diego

ADE_ShowcaseAs you know I was accepted into the ADE Global Institute for 2014 in San Diego – A gathering of ADEs from around the globe for Apple’s 20th anniversary of the program.

Well, I am flying out tomorrow morning, so be sure and keep an eye on the blog for any updates I post while there.

I can also announce now that I have been asked to present a keynote in front of everyone at the institute as part of Apple’s 1 in 3 showcase. 30 odd presenters from around the globe will have 3 minutes to present their 1 theme to all. Mine is about the power of teachers becoming authors of their own resources and the many benefits for students.

I not allowed to show anything yet, but I will be sure and have something special to show you soon.


Invitation from Google to participate in their ‘Classrooms by Google’ Program

googleGoogle are getting all, well, Google in the classroom. I have been playing around with Google Apps for Education recently (will put out a more detailed post on that adventure shortly) and have been accepted to take part in their Google Classroom Program.

What is Classroom by Google? check it out below:

But wait I hear you say, “Daniel, aren’t you all into your Apple world of iTunes and other shiny ‘i’ things” Well, yes,  random voice of the internet, I do love me some Apple goodness and the great things they are doing with education, but I am also always on the lookout for anything that will be a benefit in the classroom…and shiny and new of course….

itunes u iconAs you know I am a big fan of iTunes U (see: Professional Stuff: My Courses Top the iTunes Charts). It allows the teacher to create and collaborate on original, personalised (and hopefully) engaging resources designed to take advantage of creation tools like iBooks Author and the functions of the iPad and that can easily be shared with your students and the world.

The latest update (coming July 8) now allows the teacher to create full courses right on the iPad. It will also open up new feedback tools allowing students to start conversations within the course and communicate directly with the teacher. It still doesn’t allow submission of student work for marking, but I have easily added in my own ways of doing this (using a blog for work submission, google docs etc)

iTunes U is becoming a well designed, clean, easy to use LMS, without being, well, a crummy LMS! and it is completely free.

Most importantly it allows the teacher to be in charge of the resources – the author and publisher that all teachers can be.

Creating a School iPad Program – Post 7: The devices are in… now what?

I chose iPad 4s as hardware wise these are very close to the new Air, but far better value (Apple sell these in bulk for EDU at a good price). Once they are in a case you can't tell the difference anyway!

I chose iPad 4s as, hardware wise, these are very close to the new Air, but far better value (Apple sell these in bulk for EDU at a good price). Once they are in a case you can’t tell the difference anyway! As I have always said, the raw power of a device is worth nothing if people are not taking advantage of it. I still feel the good ‘ol iPad 2 is a great bit of kit…

The devices are in, and now the fun part, getting them all ready to roll.

There were quite a few steps to consider to get the best possible experience for staff. and to set things up in our school. I thought it would be easier to put down my thinking below in the always helpful, dot points!

I am not saying this is the best way to go about a setup like this, but what would work best in my schools situation.

Warning: This is quite a long post so click the link to keep reading after the break (if you are still interested) I will create a future post that will contain all the resources I created for this rollout (user agreements, staff meeting keynotes, iTunes U course etc.)

  • Roll out in stages. With the school holidays a week away, my goal is to have all staff iPads ready to go so staff can take them home over the term break and just explore, not even thinking about those pesky things like work or education of young people…

Next was to setup my two new iMacs as deployment machines (I also have a mac server coming in but it is still a few days away…)

  • Set up a master iPad. As these iPads are currently leased and will be going to staff members, I wanted to make sure each iPad will be initially setup the same. One of the main reasons for this is Apple’s iCloud Activation Lock. Essentially, the first iTunes account that is used to first register the iPad becomes the owner. Should a staff member use their own iTunes account the iPad will be locked to them and unless I know those details it becomes very hard to reset or restore an iPad.

I created a master iTunes account that would be used to register each iPad to begin with. The easiest way to do this was to create a new iTunes account, register one iPad, set it up how I liked (with recommend apps, folders created, etc) and then create a backup of that device. Then I unbox and connect each new iPad (not as fun as it sounds) to the iMac. When you connect a new iPad you get the option to restore from a backup, and bam, new iPad registered to our master iTunes account.

Big Tip: iTunes now allows you to connect more than one iPad at a time to restore and sync so you can do multiple at once.


  • Apple Configurator. Setting up devices on the school network, unfortunately, requires a few hoops to jump through. Things like certificates, profiles, and more need to be configured and installed on each iPad. Luckily, Apple’s Apple Configurator does all of this with a few clicks. You create a master profile that includes all of this (and many more hints like apps, web shortcuts, changing any setting on the iPad, etc) and gets pushed out to every iPad.

For staff iPads I only really need to worry about this once, but with the class iPads this software becomes key in updating, pushing out updates and apps to all the iPads in one click. I just connect a laptop to our fancy, new iPad trollies and done.

  • Staff User Agreement. So while all of this is going on I put together a user agreement for staff to sign. You can download it here, feel free to take what works for you. I will present and explain the agreement to staff when I present them with the iPad.
  • Resources for staff. I have created an iTunes U course that I will get all staff to subscribe to. In it I am creating how to guides, videos, example lessons, and a heap more. This way staff can do PD (professional development – a requirement of all teachers) in a time that suits them. Being an iTunes U course all staff are updated the instant there is a new resource for them, can check them off as completed, take and sync notes and much more.

Continue reading

Brand new gadget…

DSC_0044Just a quick update to inform all my readers that there may be a slight delay in new posts for the next two weeks. I received a shiny new gadget, also known by the technical term of baby (Model No: Rafferty Fox Garcia), on Friday and it may take me a few days to study the manual to see the best way to use this device. As such I will be taking some time off the work I have been doing at school.

I have been informed that these devices require a lot of charging (feeding) and loading (sleeping). In that time I will try to get back on the blog and update you all on the things that I had been working on.

Thanks again, and don’t worry, this will be the only baby related post I will make you suffer through!

Mr. Dan & Mr. Rafferty


Creating a School iPad Program – Post 6: iPad and eLearning Programs Launching Soon

It has been a little while since I updated you all on the progress of the iPad and eLearning programs I have been planning here (oh, and I have dropped that overly long post title!). In the short – we are moving ahead, in the long, well, that is below.

After presenting my proposal to the leadership team, everyone was onboard and excited to get moving on it. Then came the tricky part of figuring out what needed to be purchased and how best to stretch my budget to get the best results for our students.

I spent some time figuring out ways to get as much devices as I could and then something strange happened. I stopped, looked at where we are now and where we are going and decided to take it back a notch. Instead of going from nothing to everything I thought it best to do this in even more steps, get the most out of what I am bringing into the classes and increase our scope gradually as teachers and students skills and use grew.

  • First up, all teachers will be getting their own iPad before the end of Term 2. This will give them time to explore and just play with the device without having to worry about any of the education stuff.
  • In Term 3 I am rolling out 5 class sets of iPads. Each class will have a dedicated time to use these in their classes (as well as the laptop sets) and teachers can then book other class sets for any time during the day. Now, if they are all getting booked out then great!, my next step is working and we can order some more (after chatting with the account about my plans I discovered my budget was increased!)
  • Team-Teaching in Term 3. In Term 3 I will be going into each class during, what was their IT time. During this time the class teacher and myself will work on some engaging projects that will make use of the new devices and tools. My goal with this team-teaching approach it that the class teacher will know what is the best thing they want from their students and I will be able use my skills in currilcum, teahcing and technology and create a set of lessons that will meet the thing, all the while up-skilling the teacher and the students and empowering them to take those skills into every lesson (and have the ability to book devices anytime they need)

But as you know, new devices are nothing but shiny toys unless staff are provided with the best PD, support and training – well in advance of having to use them.  My goal is to also make this seamless. All the systems in the background just need to work. A teacher should not have to worry about how the WiFi is, or if a certain new app should work, it just has to work and they can focus on their teaching.

So, below is my rough plan on how I will be supporting these new possibilities over the rest of this year:

Term 2

Term 2

Term 3

Term 3


Term 4