Ways Working at a 1-to-1 iPad School Isn’t Great: A Series of Complaints Despite Privilege

Hey whatta ya know, I’m actually in this class!

At my current placement at Seton Catholic Vancouver, we’re in a new building with new technology that only the computer science teacher/IT guy can touch some of the time. I’m actually barred out of some of the stuff in the multimedia podium.

That being said, the school is very technologically literate and has 1-to-1 iPads. At the moment, some classrooms are being fitted with Apple TV’s and each podium is outfitted with a DocCam and HDMI port to the projector. In terms of software, teachers use the gambit of Google apps on the Apple devices, and most materials are distributed via Google Classroom.

As an English teacher, what I want to know is how to integrate technology into the classroom to complement the more subjective aspects of the field. I want something more beneficial to the students beyond the current use of their iPads as dictionaries and thesauri, or to assign something so mundane as a “blog” from the perspective of a character from Moby Dick.


Image by matt buchanan – originally posted to Flickr as Apple iPad Event, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9110964

3 Replies to “Ways Working at a 1-to-1 iPad School Isn’t Great: A Series of Complaints Despite Privilege”

  1. Welcome to class, Kurt.

    I think your 1:1 ratio is super: I’d love to have that kind of access. It’s also nice that it’s all in the common form of iPads so you’re all working with the same system.

    Even though our schools are vastly different, we seem to struggle with the same things related to technology use. I know there are a lot of apps for creative storytelling and other fantastically creative English enrichment activities, but I don’t know what they are, so it’s easy to fall into the pattern of using computers/tablets/whatever for typing, blogging, and making powerpoints. I hope we can find ways to be more creative–what are the English equivalents to visual models and virtual dissections?

  2. It’s great that you have access to so much technology in your placement. Has your school had any PDs on how to use the technology effectively? Since the school has obviously invested a lot of resources into the technology, it seems like they should also invest a substantial amount of time into educating the teachers on how to get the most out of the technology.
    If you haven’t done so already, it might also be helpful for you to talk to some other teachers in your school’s English department to see how they are using technology creatively in the classroom. In my placement, I learned quite a bit just from talking to other teachers during staff meetings. Experienced teachers were always excited to drop some wisdom on student-teachers!

  3. The 1:1 ratio is pretty incredible. I really like your last paragraph, though. I think it would behoove an entire English classroom for a website or app that helps their creative train of thought without explicitly giving them ideas to write on. I think the key in this inquiry is finding something that gives students influence while still leaving a lot of thought for themselves. What would this look like? Perhaps an open-ended “outline” type graph like Coggle would benefit the students? Where you give an idea that goes into another idea, but just enough to get the students to start thinking for themselves. Great post Kurt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.