10 things to consider now that Volume Purchasing has arrived in the UK
Apple make some great Apps e.g. iMovie, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iPhoto and GarageBand. People will shell out for them because they are fab.
However, in the new VP era, it is more expensive for schools managing small class sets e.g… iMovie £2.99, Keynote£6.99, Pages £6.99, Numbers £6.99, iPhoto £2.99 and GarageBand £2.99 on up to 20 iPads will cost a wapping (no pun intended) £600.
So if you’ve not been saving your pennies you need to do some smart thinking.
This line in the sand provides an opportunity to change/modernise the way we work.For me it is a move away from app fests to “channels and collaboration”.
10 things to consider with smaller class sets - Here we go…
2. Strategy - What is it you want to do? Build your thoughtfully chosen purchased apps around this focus. Less has always been more with Apple. Often the most app crammed iPads are the ones used least effectively. Choose a specific target and nail it.
3. Don’t get flabby - Do you really need Pages? Is “page layout” critical on an iPad? It would seem strange to me to design a newspaper or magazine piece on an iPad that is smaller than A4. Older teachers like me are often think in A4. Maybe spending the budget on Book Creator or Creative Book Builder is a smarter move. Staff/student generated eBooks as revision tools are very powerful. The format is more iPad friendly than an old school Pages/Word format.
4. Do we really need Keynote? It is a great receptacle for capturing/presenting learning but could this be better managed with a reflective Edublog?
5. Do you really need iMovie when there’s the free Pinnacle Studio (thanks David Baugh for that tip) or even the free Vimeo editor?
6. Think about moving away from apps and use free services. For example create a class Evernote account. Think of it as digital rough paper for planning and drafting. The students can all login and draft at the same time. Their name in the subject header is just like labelling C20th A4 paper. More importantly for teacher it’s all in one tidy place and the dog can’t eat it!
7. Look for free apps that either link to dropbox or the camera roll, so that a workflow is possible. Many free apps like Educreations are limited by the need to have (yet another) on-line account and they don’t save to the camera roll etc.
8. What about Cloudon? I hated it at first, as the interface isn’t designed for a touch screen, but having seen KS3/4 students use it (even with the latency) I’ve softened. It is by no means perfect, but the fact it really needs to be paired with Dropbox is good, as it encourages the learner to get organised.
9. Create free class “channels” for capturing and presenting learning with free apps
- Audio - Soundcloud
- Video - Vimeo
- text - Edublogs
- uber fast “quick and dirty” sharing of all docs to iPads - Groupzap.com
- Community/collaboration -Edmodo
All of the above are free and work well on the iPad.
10. Where is this leading? It is leading us to micro manage “spaces” - not apps and files/file formats. Spaces are better than apps and file formats. They are more immediate, flexible and involve an audience.
This is more of a “Google position” than an Apple one. It lends itself to a range of platforms and devices, again not very Apple which is an odd position for me! This is helpful for schools with smaller iPad class sets and and often a mix of devices in the classroom.
Maybe I should try one of those Android things ;-)