This week we're working with the staff and students from Rydalmere East. This engagement is a little different as the class has three year groups in one. This produces its own challenges, but the iPad is a great leveller. Let's be honest, since when has a child's 'date of manufacture' been a solid indicator of their academic/creative abilities?
One of the awesome things with this engagement was watching the dawning realisation that students no longer had to be sat at their desks to learn.
The initial, and understandable fear for many schools is that the iPads will instantly get dropped or smashed the minute they leave the classroom.
Considering the financial outlay, these fears are understandable. Obviously there's a risk, but these risks can be reduced significantly by a good case/cover and some early enforced ground rules. Two hands on the device when moving, find a safe place to put your iPad etc.
The benefits from working away from your desk are huge. They find their own learning space. They take ownership of their learning and feel empowered. Students can find a quiet space, or work with people they wouldn't usually collaborate with. There's also a little bit of cool rebellion in being outside the classroom, but still working.