Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Use of Tablets by Adminstrators

Use of Tablets by Adminstrators

Related Tags: School Leadership
More Related Discussions
9 Replies 594 Views
With the availability of tablet computers (such as the iPad, Zoom, Asus and others) I am interested in how these tools could be used by school administrators. Before committing the several hundred dollars of school funds, I need to know if it will be a worthwhile expenditure. The comments in this forum may persuade or dissuade other administrators with this same decision.

Comments (9 Replies)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

I think tablets, like the ipad, are less cumbersome than a laptop- think about making observations or showing people stuff on a screen, like a clipboard, rather than a laptop, where the screen tends to divide and alienate you from the other person in the room.
Think about what admins use their current computers for, and if it would benefit them to be more mobile.
For example, a few things off the top of my head-would it benefit a teacher to get more relevant feedback if an admin observed via skype rather than sitting in the back of the room, putting everyone on edge? Whether it's a desktop or tablet interface, this is not a bad idea to try, and a tablet just makes the process more mobile, so an admin could do an observation even from home or from a district office. Would having access to school data while they aren't in the office solve any problems? what are they currently using the computer for that mobile would help? Would taking a picture on the tablet be helpful? Video?

Think less about the device and more about what needs to be done, then you can make a better choice. Otherwise, you are being to gear focused and not enough "utilization" focused. There's a great book, "Meaningful learning with technology" you should check out. Whether were talking teachers or admins, choices about tech should be about what it lets you get done, faster, better, increase access, increase engagement, not so much about the bright shiny object.

Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Can you give me an idea of what you want to do or need to do? It will be easier to steer you towards the most useful apps. Obviously, ibooks is terrific- you can put downloaded PDF's there, annotate them, etc. Book highlighting, and note features are fantastic as well.

Various to do lists and organization apps are helpful- the new Reminders app is great, but plenty of other list apps are good.

Lots of project management and mindmapping apps are also helpful-

But if there's something in particular you want to do/need, it will be easier to steer you in a good direction.

Eric Sheninger's picture
Eric Sheninger
Principal at New Milford High School
Blogger 2014
Facilitator 2014

Me and my entire HS Admin team have iPads. We use them to conduct classroom walk throughs, take narrative notes for form observations, access our student information system on the fly, and to take pictures of student work. We also use them for video communication.

Glen Suppes's picture

I use mine all the time for administrative items, the best features are for taking notes, walkthroughs with a google document, and the calendar. I never leave home with out it.

Liz Powell's picture
Liz Powell
Superintendent and Governing Board Executive Assistant

We brought iPads to the Glendale Elementary District last summer as part of a budget-saving initiative to 'go paperless.' Even with the new equipment cost, providing senior leadership and Board members with an iPad and committing to making our executive level communications and Board meeting agenda and materials 100% electronic resulted in over $40,000 in budgetary savings, not including staff time spent copying/handling paper copies. Since then, we've seen the iPads used in a plethora of ways never even considered previously: audio-recording of meetings; video recording of conference sessions; video-conferencing for meetings; downloading digital versions of books selected for administrative book studies; background collaboration during meetings (a la Edmodo); event planning and room layouts; and of course, keeping up on email and coordinating calendars. In addition, we have inadvertently made all of our administrative and district committee meetings paperless as well, netting even more budget savings. All of this happened with a minimal amount of technical support or effort; if we were to explore available options in greater depth or had a more Mac-friendly culture/IT department, I'm sure these would only be the tip of the iceberg. Another point to consider is the cost of an iPad is around $500 (with cloud computing the 64 GB memory is completely unnecessary) and is designed by nature to keep pace with current technology. The average laptop is about $2,000, and even if you're fortunate enough for it to still work properly after a year, it's almost guaranteed by the time it reaches its first birthday the technology will be outdated.

Liz Powell's picture
Liz Powell
Superintendent and Governing Board Executive Assistant

We brought iPads to the Glendale Elementary District last summer as part of a budget-saving initiative to 'go paperless.' Even with the new equipment cost, providing senior leadership and Board members with an iPad and committing to making our executive level communications and Board meeting agenda and materials 100% electronic resulted in over $40,000 in budgetary savings, not including staff time spent copying/handling paper copies. Since then, we've seen the iPads used in a plethora of ways never even considered previously: audio-recording of meetings; video recording of conference sessions; video-conferencing for meetings; downloading digital versions of books selected for administrative book studies; background collaboration during meetings (a la Edmodo); event planning and room layouts; and of course, keeping up on email and coordinating calendars. In addition, we have inadvertently made all of our administrative and district committee meetings paperless as well, netting even more budget savings. All of this happened with a minimal amount of technical support or effort; if we were to explore available options in greater depth or had a more Mac-friendly culture/IT department, I'm sure these would only be the tip of the iceberg. Another point to consider is the cost of an iPad is around $500 (with cloud computing the 64 GB memory is completely unnecessary) and is designed by nature to keep pace with current technology. The average laptop is about $2,000, and even if you're fortunate enough for it to still work properly after a year, it's almost guaranteed by the time it reaches its first birthday the technology will be outdated.

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.