ipadology, chickens, eggs and coloured plastic cups.

From time to time various tweets or blog posts of mine get caught up by a paper.li – a service which captures various internet activitiy for a particular user. Yesterday, myself, @johnmclear and Leighton Andrews got linked together by the #addcym paper, which inspired this tweet from the Minister:

@addcym @davestacey @johnmclear so should we now be talking about iPedagogy? or iPadagogy?

It picked up some interesting responses, the Minister himself later on suggesting that the tweet has been in part tongue in cheek, but it get get me thinking…


There is no doubt that there are huge advantages to using Apple in a whole school deployment. As well as ipads being very easy to use, the system does seem easy to manage as long as you go 1:1 (Fraiser Speirs explains why here).

However, I suspect the reality for many schools will be BYOD before it will be a whole school deployment, and that brings up a whole host of potential management issues. More importantly, it raises some serious questions about pedagogy and making sure teachers and students are in a position to make the most of their devices. This is a very different ask to providing whole staff training on a particular app.


This one gave me more pause for thought. Surely we should be thinking about the implications for pedagogy of pupils having mobile devices. But what comes first – the chicken or the egg? Should we be finding apps that allow us to do what we know works, or following the technology into new areas? Just as I was pondering this, I found via this blog post that the Dylan Wiliam series ‘classroom experiment’ was now available on youtube. I missed it the first time round, so sat down with a cup of tea to watch.

2 hours and one cold cup of tea later I was in awe. If you’re looking for some good inset this year, get your staff together in a room and show them this.

What it did show, repeatedly, is the need for us to think about WHY we’re doing what we do. What are our priorities for our students, and are we delivering them? And if not, what are we going to do about it? The answer may be an app, it may be a mobile device. Equally it may be a lollystick, a set of coloured cups or simply the decision to change the way we mark and no longer give students grades.

But we ALL need to be encouraged to ask that question. At a national, local, school, department and class level.

What are we actually trying to achieve? Is what we’re doing going to get us there?

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