iPads-Back to the Future


CIS is beginning its 7th school year of learning with iPads. Only this year, did we realize that we didn’t have a technology vision.  We have been evolving constantly- moving from DropBox to Google Drive to iTunes U.  We have been tethered to our projector and then India got Apple TVs.  We were assured that certain online service would come onto iPads sooner than they did.  We have had 2 years of MAP testing on iPads. We are beginning our 4th year of all grade 6-12 teachers building iTunes U courses for all subjects. iTunes U replaces our plan books and unit plans.

We even got rid of all the Windows desktops from all teachers’ classrooms and replaced them with Mac Minis.  We kept learning and kept adapting.  We created an iPad User Agreement.  We host iPad Bootcamps. We studied the SAMR model, then TPACK, and then the decided to concentrate on “The 4Cs”.

This year we begin with a re-boot.  We are going to make sure that all the students that have jumped on the CIS iPad train are ready to create efficiently, to annotate work appropriately, to enhance the teaching and learning experience, and most of all, to be excited by the easy use of the iPad in helping our students learn. We have decided that the best way to do this is to differentiate our Technology Workshops to allow experienced iPad users to develop ideas differently than those who have used them for teaching for a shorter period of time.

CIS’s Technology Vision 

Canadian International School strives to prepare students to act with INTEGRITY, CARE, and RESPECT in an increasingly digital world. Our students will be able to use technology to INSPIRE  others and to create a JOY of learning and sharing with our community.

Our technology vision support CIS’s vision and mission. It incorporates our core values of Joy, (Joy of connecting with our school, our community and the world around us) and Inspiration (Inspiring to be the change),  Integrity (Integrity in academics, relationships, and in decision making), Caring (Act with empathy and kindness towards each other and the changing World around us), and Respect (Respect for individuality, community, diversity, and for our environment).

Our Digital Citizenship Vision

Canadian International School strives to prepare students for an ever-changing global community by developing lifelong skills including digital citizenship. At CIS we encourage our students from K-12 to safely, ethically and consciously explore, create and communicate in a 1:1 environment so that every student at CIS will become good decision makers and consider their digital footprint from a personal and community perspective.  As knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens our students will be able to harness the learning potential of an increasingly connected world and lead happy and successful lives.

Many CIS teachers are Common Sense Media Educators and PK-12 students do experience the complete curriculum throughout their learning experience at CIS.

These vision statements drive decision making at CIS.  

We are lucky. Our students are lucky.

Please check out this video created last year during Contextual Learning on Technology Day.

I can’t wait to see the students back at Day 1 on Friday.



High School Students give their feedback on their second year of learning in a 1:1 iPad Environment

Approximately half of  CIS’s IGCSE and IB Diploma students completed the iPad survey this year.

Opinions vary widely amongst this group.  Parental interaction with this group and their iPad is definitely low.

Most students happily use the iPads daily, but some “wish” to BYOlaptop instead.   This is a wish which will not be possible to grant as we are more than likely moving to iTunesU next year.  Many have already started to created their iTunesU courses.  In August, CIS will have a few more public iTunesU courses for all to access and use.  At present, we are the first school in India to be publically providing iTunesU courses.  That number is sure to grow, as India got approved for iTunesU only in February 2014.

Most of these students are using iPad2 16GB models with wifi, as that was the recommended purchase when we began the program for students in August 2012.  They have been learning with iPads for 1.5 years.

Do you have data from your school and its use of technology?  Are you experiencing reluctance from IB students to see the value in an iPad?  I would love to hear from you…

Thanks to Survey Monkey for making this data easily to present.

Middle School Students provide feedback on learning in an 1:1 iPad environment

With almost 100 students, students in CIS’s middle school have been learning with iPads for 1 year only. Their iPad journey began in August 2013, with all students and a parent/guardian attending a compulsory iPad BootCamp.

Here is what they have to say after approximately 6 months of using the iPads in their classrooms.

iPads are CIS are student-owned. Each student and their family signs an iPad user agreement. 

How do they results compare to your school or your learning environment?

How is your school collecting data on iPad pilots and implementations?

Would love to hear from you…

Our iPad feedback survey results- some surprises, some confirmations, some wild ideas!

CIS’s iPad Feedback Survey Results- 6 months in

So please provide feedback.  Did any of these results surprise you?  Will this feedback cause you to rethink your iPad initiative.  Let me know.CIS’s iPad Feedback Survey Results- 6 months in

Term 1 with iPads is finished!


Students in Grade 8-11 have had the iPad experience enriching their learning for the past 14 weeks.
Primary uses observed.
1. Collecting data- taking photos of school events, recording notes, and organizing and prioritizing workloads.
2. Web based research- at your finger tips answers.
3. Dropbox and Edmodo are included in most every teacher’s workflow.

Since August, students have been guided to preserve bandwidth by turning of notifications, and by limiting their access to YouTube and Downloading of Apps. CIS has recently doubled its bandwidth capacity, so we look forward to speedier connections and greater use of Socrative, Nearpod, and subject specific apps.

To filter, To not filter, how much to filter…..
This is the daily question at CIS! Preserving bandwidth is important. Keeping kids safe is important. Using all of the learning experiences of the Internet is important. How much are you Filtering at your school? Which filter do you think is best? Why?

Teachers & Students- We all have iPads!


Finally we have 185 students and 40 teachers learning with iPads in our school’s first one to one learning endeavor. The year long planning process was over three weeks ago. The last student got his iPad on Friday, three weeks late, but every student in grade 8-11 has an iPad to enhance their learning experience.

Are the students happy? YES!
Are the teachers happy? YES!

Teaching has been transformed. Teachers are moving around the classroom. Students are regularly taking photos of schedules, notes, or of each other. Most are using Edmodo, Dropbox, and email to transfer and share information. Socrative has become a popular app, as has Poplet, Pages, iMovie, and Keynote.

Paper is being used less…. Creativity in teaching and in recording the learning process is increased….

Balance is being sought, as we install filters to slow gaming and to preserve bandwidth. Balance is sought by teachers not wanting the tech to deter from the curricular objectives. Balance for our tech team, that has increased its workload phenomenally without increases in manpower. Balance for print or post.

Three weeks have passed. Engaged, and a little frustrated as we are maxing out our bandwidth most of the time…..but we (sort of) knew this might happen…… Next….more bandwidth, please…


Another step in the Planning Process…Coffee and Tech- Introducing our Parents to 1:1 Learning


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In the Secondary Library, about 15 parents learned about CIS’s one 2 one learning environment for next year.  CIS students and their families will be purchasing iPads for August and will have to have 5 purchased APPs.  This will be required of all students grade 8-11.  Parents and students were told this last August for complete implementation this August. 
Many were handling iPads for the first time.  All completed a Socrative quiz, and the immediate results were viewed in real time on the projected screen.   They also followed a QR Code to get to the wiki created for the event.  I demo’d Edmodo, showing them what is going on in my Physics class.  Many our students are already using Edmodo in their classes, so this was not new to our parents.
We did not succeed in completing all of the agenda below, but the discussion was encouraged.  Doubts about iPads vs other tablets were cleared.  Purchase plans were explained.
After a 45 minute introduction and seeing that iPads truly are educational, I feel that parents left happy that the iPad as a learning tool will be a great addition to their child’s learning experience.
Having this meeting, fielding parent concerns, having a plan, and sharing ideas is helping the adoption of iPads succeed at CIS.
Next meeting topics:  Apple IDs, No Credit Card Accounts, Download Apps, Gifting Apps.  Our next meeting will focus on the “nitty gritty business” of  getting each child’s iPad ready for learning. 

Our Agenda is listed below and cross posted on my wiki.


1. Think BIG- Introductory Video
2. 1:1 learning introduction
3. Hands on workshop- Learning with the iPad

  • Socrative
  • iBooks
  • iTunes U
  • iMovie
  • Edmodo
  • Viseoprompt
  • Pages + Keynote

4. How will it work at CIS?
5. Questions and Answers

How much PD do we need to be ready for one2one learning with iPads? What works best at CIS?

This year at CIS, we have spent almost 20 hours engaging in the practice of using our iPads.

How have we done?

With 35 teachers attending various sessions, more and more teachers are truly engaged, excited, and ready for the total iPad experience that will engage our students in August.

What PD ideas have worked?

  1. Apple iPad training on specific apps- like Keynote, Pages, and iMovie worked really well. All got to practice. All could see application of these apps into their teaching environment.
  2.  APD Training: Oscar Stringer, APD consultant, visited our school for an entire day of Q and A. This worked. An educator with “real experience” was exactly what our teachers needed. The teachers asked questions, cleared doubts, and asked for app advice. Oscar was clear, direct, and extremely knowledgeable. The teachers’ appreciated his insight. To me as the iPad enthusiast onsite, I enjoyed seeing Oscar in this leadership role. He uncovered and discussed ideas that I never would have thought of. His style was refreshing and beyond the beginner level. Most CIS teachers were ready for this.
  3. So far teachers have enjoyed PD that deeply looks at an app or tool, rather than general discussions. Optional and Volunteer Tech Talks are quite successful with low pressure on teachers. Those that attend pass on the learning, when they chat with their peers about their struggles and their successes. During these tech talks, we have discussed Wikispaces,Edmodo, Socrative, Dropbox, Voicethread, and Annotateneu.
  4.  Private discussions about particular subject areas and with “new” teachers has been vital to the PD process, as sometimes individual attention with quality chat and brainstorming is necessary.
  5. We started using WebDAV with a Mac mini server this week. This time, all teachers were asked to follow a keynote or pdf of instructions to help them set-up their WebDAV folder. They were not allowed to go to see our Technology Director. And guess what, they were all successful. Now with WebDAV, file transfer is so fast and sharing was so easy. All were impressed. After giving everone a week to install the folders and get them working, we met and spent 45 minutes sharing and exploring ways to move files, pics, movies, and pdfs. Moving in and out of our shared and private folders on the WebDav was useful and practical for all. This will be great as we start creating content for the new school year. Students will use the WebDAV next year too. A great way to submit work.

Unfortunately, discussions about pedagogy and one to one learning have been less engaging, as most at CIS are focused on the “how” rather that the “why” right now. CIS teachers know that going one to one is good. That it is the future of education. CIS teachers are being pushed to think about the “why”, but this seems a longer process and perhaps one that will move forward more once the students have their iPads too.

Do we need to focus on “why” too? What do you think?


The iPad Plan-first post since August! UGH!

iPad photos- Day 1

The Plan

  • Give teachers and CIS infrastructure a one year headstart in learning and planning, so that in August 2012, approximately 150 students will arrive with their iPads in hand, ready to learn.
  • Order 40 iPads and Smart Covers, add wifi structure to the entire secondary school. Make sure bandwidth is enough to support this learning environment.
  • Have teacher’s personalize their iPads and be in charge of their care and updating. Have teacher’s sign a iPad contract. Have our IT department help with registering, updating, and facilitating purchasing from Bangalore-based Apple product distributors.
  • Our goal is to have at least 10 hours of iPad PD in this year, to help teachers gain confidence in using this tool in their classroom.
  •  iPads do not require a lot of cords and wires and servers. iPads charged the night before will last throughout a whole day of learning. Many iPad features work without internet connection required. At CIS, electrical outages and Airtel network downs occur regularly. iPads may be personalized, they are portable, they are fun.
  • Engaged and excited teachers create enthusiastic learners. Each teacher will sign up for their own Apple ID and decide on once place to sync their device. The choice is theirs:- a home computer with iTunes installed or a school computer (in the staffroom). Teachers will be responsible for the loading and installation of apps and updates. They will be encouraged to personalize their iPads.
  • The teachers are modelling what we will expect from the students next year. They will feel the energy and the frustration of learning a new skill. CIS will learn and troubleshoot along the way, creating a strong student rollout plan for August 2012.

First Steps, 1:1 iPad ideas

We are getting iPads soon, so what can you do to prepare?

Have fun, explore the web for iPAD ideas.

15 Minutes

Here are some great mobile learning/1:1 learning sites.

  • Connecting with others
  • Many are bookmarked here on my online bookmarking account- Delicious. Click around, enjoy.
  • Apple has produced a great site for mobile and iPad learning
  • Anytime, Anywhere Learning is a great resource for step-by-step planning and implementation of a 1:1 programme


  • If you do not have an iTunes account, then get one here.

15 Minutes

  • Google Docs: Here is the Web 2.0 google doc that will be used in the ES web 2.0 training this afternoon.  Google docs is available and functioning on the iPad too. It is a great place to collaborate. It is free. It is a word processer, just like Word or Pages. Try it out!

15 Minutes

  • Check out I tunes U
  • Check out the Apps store.  There are many apps that go on sale or “free” for limited time periods. Geometer’s Sketchpad is free right now. Download it this month, as it will cost 3.99 after August.

15 Minutes

  • Accessibility– Dictionary functions, voice over,
  • In Pages or text edit Highlight word Control Command D-  definition
  • Voice over, Summarize, speech to iTunes voice.

Next steps, digital citizenship awareness and acceptable use….

Other great tools- Evernote, Dropbox, Twitter with Tweetdeck, Edmodo….. I can help you use any of these in your classroom. They all have desktop versions that sync to smart phones and iPads.

Online Bookmarks: Delicious      http://www.delicious.com/mkells

Twitter: MKells

Skype: melanie_kells

Linkedin: Melanie Kells 

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