Educators love acronyms, begins Carl. At Eanes ISD, they had LEAP – Learning and Engaging through Access and Personalization. This was their why for the pilot. In the first year, they had 6 iPad 1s. The following year, they launched 1800 iPads at the high school level with the teachers who were the most ready. Before handing out iPads to the students, they gave out 2400 to the teachers. By spring of 2013, all students in K-12 are armed with iPads (8800). However, through the process, they have made a number of mistakes.

Top 20 things NOT to do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative:

The most important person in an initiative is the campus administrator who can be the voice between the teachers and the district. Another important factor has been communication with the parents.

1. Do NOT forget to communicate with everyone all the time – this means to communicate with every stakeholder (parents, teachers, admin, HR, librarians, the school board, tech department, students, legal, RUG – responsible use guideline).

2. Do NOT give them to the teaching staff at the last minute – at some point, you have to take the plunge and go forward, but teachers need time and prep.

3. Do NOT try to roll out all the apps at once – think about how to get apps out in advance.

4. Do NOT expect teaching and learning to change overnight – it took them three years to start to see a seismic shift in pedagogy. The tipping point in this was when they moved towards the SAMR model. For some teachers, the shift was immediate. For others, took some time. However, by looking at SAMR as a pool rather than a ladder, then there isn’t a point of being “done.” Everyone is always swimming all of the time. It’s also important to provide support any time and anywhere. They also created iPadpalozza as a collaborative event (aka. a “learning festival”).

6. Do NOT evaluate their effectiveness solely with test scores – it’s hard, but have to be comfortable with not being able to measure innovation while it’s happening.

7. Do NOT forget the little details – initially forgot to purchase dongles for connecting to projectors. They also didn’t get a case that protected the corners. So the little things matter.

8. Do NOT try to control everything about it – try not to think about using technology to control everything. Sometimes we have to let things be uncomfortable and out of our control.

9. Do NOT try to distribute everywhere at once – another issue was handing out all of the iPads at one time. Instead, they centralized the distribution of devices to students. This allowed the tech department and edtech departments to work together and have everything in one place.

10. Do NOT expect email to be the answer for workflow and communication – communication is incredibly important, but it needs to be more than just one dimensional. Traditionally, we learned to properly communicate – aka. write a letter – now who is teaching how to post, tweet, chat, comment, etc. Additionally, how do we address non-verbal communication? The last part is the concept of workflow: how to push and pull content.

11. Do NOT forget about just-in-time support – created a “juice bar” situation to provide tech support. This is especially critical during off times like lunch to provide help.

12. Do NOT fall in love with an app – decide what the end product should be and then find a means to get there. To solve this, they created an AVC – app vetting committee – to test and pilot apps before purchasing too many.

13. Do NOT buy the expensive carts if they are in classroom sets – for class sets of iPads, don’t need mobile carts. Instead, they built their own shelves for the classrooms.

14. Do NOT be surprised by parent concerns – they had a digital parent night to introduce iPads. Because the device came from the school, there were concerns that parents felt as though they had no control over iPads in their homes. To make parents more comfortable, they created opportunities for the parents to learn and become more comfortable.

15. Do NOT assume that students know how to use them – the idea of the “digital native” is not necessarily true. The Implementation Dip implies that there will be a performance dip before it gets better. Distraction goes down as instructional value goes up, so it will improve but be prepared for mayhem at first. Similarly, teach students how to take care of their iPads.

16. Do NOT think that physical space can remain constant – sitting in rows with the power of iPads in your hands is not the best thing for engagement, collaboration, or getting to the next level of learning. Think about versatile, flexible spaces.

17. Do NOT start out with only consumptive apps – decide whether or not it’s an app for creation vs. consumption. The goal is to move towards being productive – such as Kathy Schrock’s Bloom’s Taxonomy for iPads. It’s more than just getting games through.

18. Do NOT short-count your iPads on distribution day – make sure that you have enough iPads for every student when handing them out.

19. Do NOT get in the way of kids learning – when doing a project, our first inclination is to tell students what to do. Instead, allow students to do what they think will be best.

20. Do NOT let fear overcome your mission – change can be scary and it can be terrifying with iPads because we have to let go.

In my rush to write about all of Carl’s wonderful points, I missed #5. Great advice!

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