Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sacred Heart Catholic School

Stepping back in time today, Schools of the Sacred Heart is set overlooking the Golden Gate Bride, the harbour and Alcatraz in a historic 'castle' in the heart of San Francisco. There are even secret doors!

It is made up of 4 single sex schools - 2 elementary and 2 high schools - 3 campuses side by side and another 6 blocks away. Fees for these independent school range between $27-$32,000:-)

Infrastructure in a historic building has been a huge challenge not to mention being surrounded by city apartment blocks. In any one place in the building there maybe 40/50 other wireless channels do, it's been a matter of making theirs the strongest.

At present there is a real mixture of computer labs, laptop carts and iPad carts as well as particular grades who are solely 1-1 iPads. Computer labs tend to be used for meeting spaces and a place for heavy processing, particularly for their very successful high school newspaper.

In the next school year this school will be moving to total 1-1 iPads. (Budget of 1/4 million) In the high schools the parents own the apple ID and the school takes a hands-off approach. Basically they buy the iPad and then it is the students responsibility. Apps are purchased by students and is considered part of their textbook cost. The school is also moving towards 70 inch mobile cart with an Apple TV instead of projectors and screens or IWB's.

With the 1-1 iPads the school management are still thinking of what will happen with each ipad at the end of the students senior year, their current thinking is students will probably just take home or have a low cost buy out scheme. Nick reflected there are still kinks in their system. They do realise they need to have a very flexible approach as things are always changing with Apple:-).

In the elementary school teachers are given a $25 iTunes card to explore and discover apps that they want to use in classes in addition to school wide apps. These School iPads are updated twice a quarter. The process for teachers is to email through their requests for apps and they are aware of the schedule of when installs are going to happen.

We caught up briefly with the school Librarian (what a view!) and she talked to us about how her practice has changed with students bringing iPads to library. Students are now creating their book reviews in the library on iPad and emailing straight to the librarian. She also talked about how she is researching the best company for integrating eBooks and thinking about what this will look like.

We had the opportunity to hear from a group of boys about their favourite apps. One of the things we have noticed as that there is a definite 'top 5ish' apps that we are seeing used in every school. At the end of this week I will sum up these apps. The apps these boys talked about were:

Book creator
I annotate

Few extras for me to remember

Google apps for education
Look into e backpack - online classroom storage and management tool - iPad app - students can share data into this.

Check out Cribby's post for today here for another insight:-)

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