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Published on July 1st, 2012 | by Mark Anderson


The importance of engagement


In preparation for the full launch of the iPad project where I work, I organised 2 weeks worth of parental iPad experience sessions. I set them up with timings scattered across the various days to try and make sure everyone who wanted to come was able to.

There were a few outcomes I wanted to achieve from the sessions. One was to give parents a one to one, or one to couple, experience of using an iPad as I suspected a number of them had never used one before. Another was to give parents the opportunity to speak with students, digital leaders, teachers and senior leaders about the project, what had been found and how they had been using the device to support learning. It also gave us the opportunity to talk with parents in small groups about the project and to answer any questions they may have.

The sessions ended up with more than 250 parents attending with large numbers of staff and students attending – in this brave new world of education, it has been completely heartening to work in this way. It was really heartwarming to see students discussing how their learning has moved forwards as part of being involved in the project and for staff to explain how their practice has changed as a result of using the device in lessons. It really helps bring home the vision that it is a project all about learning, not about technology.

It’s a project all about learning, not about technology…

It was also a really good learning experience for me – as a result of conversations with parents, it has helped to develop the project further too. Another reason why it is so important to engage with all all stakeholders in the project. It was amazing to reflect back and to see how far we’ve come and I’m really looking forward to the next chapter.

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About the Author

Mark Anderson is a former assistant headteacher, an award winning blogger and education technology expert, keynote speaker, best-selling author of 'Perfect ICT Every Lesson' and independent consultant. He is one of the UK’s most in-demand speakers and strategic consultants for schools and is a passionate advocate for the purposeful use of technology and sound pedagogy.

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