“5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make…”

Edudemic, a site all about the best education technology tools and trends, recently posted the article, “5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make With iPads (And How To Correct Them)“.

“Over the last few years K-12 schools and districts across the country [USA] have been investing heavily in iPads for classroom use. […] While we’ve witnessed many effective approaches to incorporating iPads successfully in the classroom, we’re struck by the common mistakes many schools are making with iPads, mistakes that are in some cases crippling the success of these initiatives. We’re sharing these common challenges with you, so your school doesn’t have to make them.”

The article is based on experiences with iPads, but the advice given applies equally to all technologies that schools may be purchasing en masse – iPads, Android tablets, netbooks, laptops etc.

How To Avoid These Mistakes!

All establishments have created their own vision for ICT but our 1:1 Toolkit should help you work towards achieving your vision.  The majority of schools will be at the planning stage just now, where time is taken to think about how best to support our learners and which technologies can enable this. The preparation stage is where any new technologies are introduced to staff and pedagogical change considered. After these phases have been completed, the implementation phase can begin. (Remember that for some establishments, your vision may be a full 1:1 initiative and for others it will be 1:1 access to technology in school when and where the learner needs it).

If you have any queries or would like to talk over your plans with someone from the Digital Learning Team please get in touch via

QR Codes in Education

QR (Quick Response) Codes were invented by Densio Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota, in Japan in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. QR codes are now being used as a mainstream tool for directing us to specific websites and text.

To scan a QR code you need a smartphone or similar device that can install a QR scanning app. For an app for iOS devices click here. For an app for Android devices click here. To create a QR code click here.

Find out how QR codes are being used in education by either watching the video below or scanning the code above…


These devices are the market leaders for tablets(£400). They have a fantastic interface, a multitude of educational apps and they are intuitive to use as highlighted in this article about their use in an Edinburgh school.

At the moment, the management of these devices does have some issues. They are not designed to be shared and require frequent ‘syncing’ . They are also linked to an apple ‘account’ and you need to carefully consider how many accounts you use and how they are allocated.

Android Tablets
Android tablets are the main other alternative to iPads and their market share is increasing all the time. They are generally cheaper than iPads and also have many apps but the app store is not regulated so the apps can be of varying quality. The Toshiba tablets (AT-100 and

can be purchased whith management software which controls which apps and websites pupils can use.

Notebooks are just small laptops that are very affordable. The disadvantage is that they are not very powerful so in a couple of years they may run slowly and the small keyboards can be unsuitable for older pupils or large amounts of typing.

The difference in price between Laptops and Desktops has reduced considerably in recent years in terms of performance and price. Macbooks are more expensive but they remove the need for anti virus software

Ultrabooks are the latest generation of lightweght ultra thin laptops which are currently expensive

Chromebooks are provided by Google and allow you to access the internet 8 seconds after you switch them on. They include on-line technical support and a break fix contract for either £15 per month over 3 years or a 1 year deal at £350 each. They can only be used for on-line resources.

Device Advice – iPad

The Stats…
The iPad was launched by Apple in April 2010 and the iPad 2 in March 2011. (The iPad 3 is rumoured to launch in Spring 2012.) Since April 2010 25 million iPads have been sold. The iPad 2 has front and back facing cameras for both stills and video, battery life of 10 hours, is thin and light with a screen size of 9.7 inches. It supports multi-touch operations such as tapping, swiping, pinching and flicking! To find out more about the iPad specifications click here.

The operating system the iPad uses is called iOS. The iPad has access to all of the iTunes features and free podcasts including the specific educational content in iTunes U. It has access to over 500,000 apps in the App Store, with over 140,000 apps designed specifically for the iPad. To find out more about the App Store click here.

Educationally speaking…
The iPad is used in a variety of educational contexts. In Edinburgh there are iPads being successfully integrated into the learning and teaching in all sectors – nursery, primary, secondary and special. To read more about the iPad in education click here and to read more about the iPad in Edinburgh click here. (Glow login is required for Edinburgh content.)

Throughout the world the iPad is being used in education and also as part of 1:1 learning projects. Click on the links below to find out more about some of these projects.
Scotland: Cedars School of Excellence in Greenock
England:  Essa Academy in Bolton
Australia: Victoria State Government iPads for Learning
USA:       Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop High School in Minnesota