Contact Me here...

ipad games apple google primary Applications programming Scratch education eyfs fobissea Gmail internet resources social networking china facebook integrating technology iPod KS2 learning technology Year 6 apple distinguished educator BISV change coding control cyber pets design thinking DIY EAL email excel futurelab ICT internet safety Key Stage 1 ks1 lessons Mimitchi MIT Paint Primary ICT safety stories Tamagotchi trolley Video web apps workshop Year 5 2012 21cl 21clhk accounts ADE android animation animoto animoto. animation application apps AR assessment balance beijing BETT browser cake or death challenge based learning chat children chrome classroom computer wildness computing conference Conference calls creativity current trends curriculum cyberbullying desktop development digital digital story telling display docs dropbox Edmodo edtech elearning europe Ewan McIntosh film filters flat classrooms FOBIT forbes future game maker gaming global Google Apps google docs google drive google earth google wave hacking Help horizon report how to Ictopus IE images iMovie infant inspiration Instant Messaging international week internet explorer interview ios julan opie K-6 Key Stage 2 leaders learn Lego lesson literacy management maths meme microblogging moshi monsters multimedia New York Times newsletter NoTosh Oculus Rift online paper park PBworks photo photography pictures portfolios posters qr codes rants reception safe search schools search sites sketchUp slideshow SplashUp story strategy synth tablets Taipei Taiwan teacher teaching tech attack TES theme themepark timetables Tom Barrett training trends in ICT trrends in ICT twitter tycoon UK updates USA Vietnam virtual reality vocabulary VR vVideo web web pages web sites Windows windows 7 workarounds world maths day year 2 Year 4

Entries in apple (8)


Educational Buzzwords: A 21st Century Paradigm of Flipped Learning Spaces

Diaspora was supposed to be an open source, decentralised version of Facebook. A quick search will tell you what happened to it and whether you can access it. Who knows if it will ever come to life. Its premise was all that Facebook is generally not - a place for true user-voted news that was voted on worthiness and not a test bed for dumbing-down of the news to the lowest common denominator. Still, Condé Nast could never let that happen as it might damage Reddit's stake as number one switchboard for memes and Facebook, well, Facebook is Facebook - the gateway drug for the general masses to like and generally believe ANYTHING that they read. Still, it's the use of 'diaspora' in the wrong context that is slightly irksome and its misuse links my thinking to the general state of technology in education.

Diaspora though (an oft incorrectly used adjective) is, in my opinion, in the same league as 'Paradigm Shift' or 'Flipped Learning' or God forbid '21st Century Learners' when used as an adjective to describe collections or movement of things. Although I'm not a total word nerd, my poorly written English at times is akin to Lynn Truss's book 'Eats, shoots and leaves' and I feel somewhat aware that there is a misalignment somewhere in the general banding of these phrases where children's learning is concerned. And it bothers me that we're losing track of what we're here to do as teachers.

The terms are, in general, related to the gaping void we're presently in where technology and education are mixed are thrown around with little understanding of where the real sentiment is actually gleaned from. This article: You are Asking the Wrong Questions About Educational Technology by Jordan Shapiro yesterday really highlights this. His point about teaching our students for the workplace is telling us that educational technology is, in the most part askew. The naming conventions are off-target too.

We'll returning to that in a moment. The recent highlight in my most recent experiences in my job are that buzzwords are increasingly everywhere. The PC-ness of common diction is becoming swathed in the 'correct' phrase to use. It's like a barometer of how connected one is to their profession or clique or how one would like to be part of a particular clique (Think: ISIS or ISIL. Media = ISIS, Government =ISIL). The Apple clique is a great example in education (I'll be writing about a recent very poor experience soon once the thin film of WTF has finally been shed by the hired shaman). Being a  or brushed with 'Appleness' gets people all gooey-eyed at the thought of using an Apple product. I get it. Using them offers the children opportunities they never had previously - game-based learning for example. I get it. Everyone does. It's not the tool the children need for the 21st century. It just is the 21st century and these are the things we have at our disposal. You don't have to use them all in the hope that you're being a proper 21st century teacher either. Choose what fits and refine it next time. Maybe using fewer is a paradigm shift in itself. We never get to see how many times can you use an app and for the maximum purposes.

Making a 21st Century Learning Space is another phrase I would rather chew soap over than say out loud. Yes it's a space. Yes it's a area where learning will (hopefully and plentifully) ensue. Are we in the 21st Century? Just checking. Did they dribble this equivalence in 1914? Probably not. Probably because because the learning taking place wasn't preparing students to be future global connected citizens in a world where they are being prepared for jobs that don't exist yet. Global in 1914 meant war and a globe was more likely part of a flip-top drinks cabinet or an orrery. I think we need these phrases to jump the shark and we need to reach peak-phrase. Remember peak-oil? What a scam.

Jordan Shapiro has hit the nail on the head. It's one of the best articles I read in a long time (thank you Zite!) and it's basically telling us to do things right. Do things for the people we have in our care and make sure they understand that, according to Uncle Ben Parker: With great power comes great responsibility. Give them the opportunity to learn with modernity in mind but not with a dependency on what or which job they can attain with certain skills. Hand that power over to them. The students need proper guidance and this starts with those at the top making it their mantra too. We as teachers need to be aware of our changing landscape and take a more lateral view. Move away from what's being posted on your Wall or what phone is being released this week - it's an echo chamber. Instead, parse the knowledge of what they can do with this technology. We should be passing on our knowledge to those who strive for knowing more and we should be the stand-up guide we're employed and studied hard to be.

The conveyor belt of education from early years to university is written all too negatively in the sense that what began a 1000 years ago in a university in Modena is still in part the same trajectory today. Shapiro all too well understands that this as application over ideology. This isn't Gattaca or Divergent however, as long as the en-masse standardised testing continues we're destined to be looking too heavily on what industry wants and not what students need us to impart. Technology, regardless of the century we're in, isn't helping our students unless we seriously think about the power they have over their own learning. That device they have there in their hands allows them to read, interact and be part of a club that requires a certain level of tailoring on our end. That tailoring requires us to adopt new styles of teaching for new styles of learning.

If your students can search for the answer online does this mean they know the solution. No, it doesn't they're not Neo and you're not the Oracle. Does it mean we need to assist them in applying this knew found knowledge. Yes, it does. Think of it like cooking. You can watch how to bake a Victoria sponge. Will you know how to make it from there on? Not in detail. If you can apply this in the kitchen then you undoubtedly know how to make a Victoria sponge. By the same token we should all be able to describe the difference between Knowledge, Information and Data and how the three intertwine.

Being the 'Sage on the Stage' or the 'Guide on the Side' is a new set of phrases I've encountered recently but this doesn't mean I'll be flipping my classroom every Tuesday because Sir Ken Robinson's voice over in an animation said so. Adopting a stance that this is the way it is and has been for a while now means it's something that will be here for while to come.

Get your SAMR on; I'm off to teach from a Hole in the Wall.


Ipad Set Up Guide For Multiple Devices

I am writing this as a guide that, is mostly for my own sanity than anything else really, and written for other ICT teachers who are starting out using iPads in their classrooms/ schools for the first time and, are cloning several iPads rather than gifting apps.

This is how they look in the end. Mac Airs included with VGA adaptors.

This is how they look in the end. Mac Airs included with VGA adaptors.

This note from Apple iTunes Support tells you that you can sync 10 devices to one account per authorised computer. If you read here you can see that iBooks is somewhat different. As too iCloud. If you have a home account for the iOS devices in your home then you obviously sync to that account. Your child, brother, sister, aunt, dog, cat, husband or wife all do the same. This amounts to a lot of copying of data and contacts (Can you see how useful that is for school? Not so handy for family though. I'm not sure your 14 year old child would want his/her contacts syncing to your iOS device!) to many devices on the same account. Is there a limit? Well, yes and no. I point this out below too. The limit we find is about 20 restores. Then it becomes a little sticky and we have to use more than one Mac to finish completely. Hence, below you see we use 5. I am not using Windows PCs with iTunes as you can't sync multiple devices at once with iTunes on Windows. See below from the Apple discussions board.


","engine":"visual"}" data-block-type="2" id="block-521bbcd4dd61aea5898f" style="position: relative; clear: none; z-index: 1; padding-left: 17px; padding-right: 17px; word-wrap: break-word; padding-bottom: 15px;">

When you're given a task to do with the iPads in your school you're sometimes overloaded with which direction to take especially if you're using them as we do like a class set of computers rather than individual, personal devices. Please be mindful that this isn't what they were designed for and as you see the images below there are obstacles that remind you of that very fact.

Cloning iPads or iPod touches isn't illegal. This note from Apple iTunes Support tells you that you can sync 10 devices to one account per authorised computer. If you read here you can see that iBooks is somewhat different. As too iCloud. If you have a home account for the iOS devices in your home then you obviously sync to that account. Your child, brother, sister, aunt, dog, cat, husband or wife all do the same. This amounts to a lot of copying of data and contacts (Can you see how useful that is for school? Not so handy for family though. I'm not sure your 14 year old child would want his/her contacts syncing to your iOS device!) to many devices on the same account. Is there a limit? Well, yes and no. I point this out below too. The limit we find is about 20 restores. Then it becomes a little sticky and we have to use more than one Mac to finish completely. Hence, below you see we use 5. I am not using Windows PCs with iTunes as you can't sync multiple devices at once with iTunes on Windows. See below from the Apple discussions board.

For those of you reading this and shouting "You should be using Apple Configurator! Why aren't you using Apple Configurator?" Well, I have, and to be honest you're kind of restricted to one Mac to do all the syncing. When we have to rush out the apps or as we're doing here a complete refresh it's quicker and easier to use iTunes. Also, the graphical nature of the Apps view in iTunes is omitted in Configurator meaning that the subject folders you need on all iPads can't created.

One last thing about Configurator is that we have run into problems installing apps en masse and then having to move them later from the devices while the students are using the iPads during lessons. This. in my opinion. is poor practice and I prefer to have them all singing all dancing for every lesson I teach them with. So, if you need to use a separate Mac to add an app or move, say, a .band archive from one iPad to another then you're stuck as Apple Configurator only allows you to hook up the iPads that you originally used on the other Mac ( I have tried with and without the switch at the beginning to 'un-restrict' the device but have run into numerous problems down the line later on). Going the route I'm outlining below is a little laborious to begin with but reaps dividends in being somewhat quite flexible.

Configurator is a fantastic idea if you gift the apps to each device but if you're batching them like we do then it is very restrictive.  Also, Configurator is about control of the device based on your policies. No YouTube in your school / LEA? You can switch it off for entire sets and email the app codes to students who, in their own time can move the App wherever they want it.

It's personal preference I suppose. You really need to run a test and find out what you like. Check this guide out. If you go to step 18 in the show below you'll see a graphic of what I'm talking about.

1. The initial Set Up. 

We do this in three major parts. The first being the the downloading and copying of all 'Purchased' Content from the iTunes store.

Setting downloads to single only.

Setting downloads to single only.

Depending on how much you have purchased will depend on how long and how much bandwidth you're going to take up. If you have an IT manager at your school you need to make a decision on when to do this. It took all day plus the following morning (due to timing out of connections ) for us to sort out 5 Macs (our allotted authorisations) downloading approximately 10Gbs of data to each laptop.

We had already planned for this and made sure the downloads in iTunes we we tosingle downloads only and not SIMULTANEOUS or else you could strangle your network. We also set this off at the end of school informing the IT Dept that this woSuld happen. Also, we set up as in the photo here, knowing that there would be a mix of wired and wireless connections. not only from this initial set up but also other users around the ICT rooms. So, with that in mind we moved an access point near to us so that we could control that inevitable dip in speed.


Updating isn't always necessary.

Updating isn't always necessary.

Updating the iPad isn't always necessary but in this case I decided to. You only really need to download the update once and it should unpack every time you plug in and accept the iPad to iTunes.

App arrangement

App arrangement

In iTunes plug in the first  iPad and bring up the Apps window. This is where you need to arrange all the apps into the folders. We arrange them like this. 

Once all the apps are arranged then you're good to go. What I tend to do now is back this up.  Not because I like to do things twice, but because I have lost data so many times in the past that I know what a royal pain it is to have to do something again!


Delete all but one of your backups

Delete all but one of your backups

A golden rule here: Only keep on back up as the live back up. Keep one iPad as the master clone for each machine you're backing up to (to save your 10 device per machine limit alive) and then delete any additional backups iTunes makes after that. Go to>> preferences> Devices and then delete the backup you don't want.

Here you can see that we wanted to keep the 10:50 AM version. Tick the box to prevent any more iPads/ iPods syncing to the computer automatically. 


2. Backing up and Syncing

Once you're satisfied with the shape of the front page of the iPads and all the Apps are int he correct order etc. The transfer of all the apps are done.

I tend to make sure this back up is all singing all dancing. Back up. Check. Back up again. 

Make a list of all the things you think you'll need: Passwords, usernames, IP adresses, settings such as restrictions, in-app purchases, restricted content etc. 

Don't forget the App store, Auto Download of purchases, iMessage, iCloud and email accounts. 



And the saviour of all saviours: The ShortCut menus. I set up all kinds of shortcuts like email addresses, home pages, and passwords that students use frequently. 

Then I back up again so that all the information you have put into the device will be saved.

Then I clone to all the machines ready for the first batch and check-up. 


3. Cloning

iTunes will allow two back ups happening at the  same time.  

Therefore if you have more than one Mac handy, and you're cloning more than one device then I would recommend this kind of arrangement.  Obviously, it depends on what you want and how many devices you're setting up.


Lastly, badge them up both front and back.

Lastly, badge them up both front and back.

Lastly, as you're backing up. Pop into the Mac and turn on sync images. This wil allow you to put some helpful hints on the Lock Screen.

I tend to put the email addresses and the passwords we use for student accounts plus a little hint as to the most frequent issues: Network.

This network help is put on the back too as a sticker giving a number and IP address. Year 6 children then take care of this and make sure there are screenshots of this in the camera roll (iCloud photo folder) too.

There are lots of little niggles that crop up but mostly these are the steps I go through. There are many laborious parts as well. For example get help when, at the end and you're labelling the iPads and you're inputting the the IP addresses. This will drive you insane. If you notice that your Subnet, Gateway and DNS are not there then re-back up and sync. It will save you a lot of typing.

If you notice that any small part is missing then back up and re-sync.  

Lastly, hand over any of these jobs to students and staff and have your team of gurus to support you. I find people like to be involved and take ownership of the devices. Especially the kids.


Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Application

ADE 2012

Several weeks ago news came through that Apple were holding their next round of applications to bcome a Distinguished Educator. The process is pretty striaght forward but the number of applicants is not. There are only 50 places available this time round (does it change?) for applications from 6 countries: Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines. 

Now, I'm guessing there must be upwards of 600 applications based on 100 per country for less than 9 places per country as well. I mean, Singapore alone must hit close to 200+ applications due to the high prominance of Apple outlets there and the ties to education already. Here, in Taiwan the number of Apple resellers is growing but the ties to education are low. In Taiwan there isn't even a genuine Apple store let alone an abundance of training centers given that Foxconn are spitting distance away from our school. I think, at last count (while we were trying in vein to contact a Apple Server expert we encountered several at the time and only one could help out with our needs) there were 5 as a newish one opened a near the Technology University but its claims are dubious.

So, this leaves me with the dilemma of what to include in the application. Have you looked around the usual video channels for ADE applications? There are a slew of videos that, if you take a step back and think about what the assessors the other end are seeing and experiencing, do I want them to see iMovie with the same music and language? I mean, iMovie is brilliant and that but the standard Apple music and titles are becoming somewhat staid (as nice as they are!). Or, as I began to think longer about it, do they really want this? Do they want you to speak about yourself in language that, let's be honest here, we don't use on a daily or even weekly basis. You become ensconsed inside a feedback loop of edu-slang spouting the latest and greatest must-have acronyms, mnemonics and fads.

Well, after diliberating long and hard about what other educators have undoudtedly spent hours buildng as part of their Apple applications, I decided not to bludgen the poor sods the other side of my application by having to listen to my softened Midlands drone. Instead I went for showing off what the children in my school are doing. A montage if you will of good fun and a little creativity into the mix.

This is what I put together.

This took ages to make and trim and re-take and take out items and replace and God knows what else. Several liters of coffee and borderline arguments with both myself and my poor girlfriend I got to this point. I hope it's Ok and I get the gig as a friend/ colleague in the Apple Education arena seems to enjoy it so much and has done for several years now. It's just a shame the other countires I've lived in and too the school's I've worked in haven't embraced Apple products and the weatlh of creativity it brings.

If you have never seen this before then this is what you have to do:

Apple Distinguished Educator

Apple Distinguished Educator Application

Let's see how far I get in this process. It's certainly been reflective and a thought provoking process and one I've thouroughly enjoyed. But if I don't get in what in blazes am I going to make for the next video? Maybe I'll turn myself into a LEGO mini-fig. Hopefully that'll get a wry smile from the adjudicators and they'll laugh my application into the ADE books.


Robots, Games, iOS and Literacy: Cross-Curricular Educational Technology for 7 Year Olds

Me with Year 2and Bee Bot Maps Over the past 6 weeks we have been working closely with both Year 2 and Year 3 in ICT. The idea, you can read in more detail here, is to integrate very closely ICT into as much of the focus topics as possible. In Year 2 this is maths and "All About Me". The children have learned how to use iMovie and Dropbox (This is fast becoming one of the most integral of all Apps in school) and creating a substantial movie. The Movie, should include as many of these elements as possible:

1. Images (Their own photos imported from their dropbox folder)

2. Text (With 'Super Sentences' not just "I am at the beach")

3. Audio (Try to adlib here. If you want to express yourself beyond the script then speak clearly, slowly and with a smile on your face!)

4. Music and a theme (To choose a suitable theme that suits you)

5. Video (Optional - To add a simple goodbye message)

6. Finish and export to Photo Gallery in HD 720p

7. Lastly, to put it into the correct folder in their class dropbox area.


Click to see planning in Dropbox

Click to see planing in Dropbox

This criteria wa set out at the beginning with the teachers and would only really work with them alongside me and our Learning Assistants guiding the children to build their master pieces.

The biggest challenge here is the size of the year group. With nearly 90 children we had to call up the parents for photos of them very early in the term. This would give them at least 2 weeks to get the photos to us. A little tip here if you need to collect this amount of photos from a large base of people - set a filter in Gmail!

This is what we sent to parents.

Last year some of you may have sent in hard copies of photos or CD/ DVDs. So that these don’t get mislaid please use the following instructions:

  1. Due to the equipment we’re using we can only accept digital copies via email.
  2. Please do not send any hard copies or links to an online gallery. If you need to digitize please take a photo of a hard copy and send that digital copy.
  3. Send as an attachment only.
  4. Email with this subject: Your child’s class teacher + your child’s name + VIP

As an example: Miss Gibbs Mimi Chang VIP

 This will help us separate the emails and attachments at speed.

The part in bold is your filter. Set this up so that it's looking for attachments and the term VIP and all should be good. You can then auto send to a folder or set other parameters in if you use this site. I found that if you try to do this type of thing manually then you end up with all sorts of mishaps.

 Once we had all the images I made the children a dropbox folder each and put all the photos in them. The children then saved them to their iPad galleries and wad then able to import them to their iMovie projects. Once the children were able to import the photos the key parts (as you can see in the planning above) are:

1. Text (title and creidts)

2. Audio. Rehearsing. Sound levels.

3. Editing the images (resizing on the timeline)

4. Text (the sentences from their plans)

5. Video ending - upper ability/ EAL only.

6. Export.

This was then finalised for the show piece for parents and the "VIP" day. They are then transferred to our Vimeo Gallery for those parents who couldn't attend.



Olympics QR Code Treasure Hunt with iPods and iPads

QR Codes, I have to say, are a marvellous method for discovery in school. Why? Because they offer up the 'unknown' to children and techers alike. The children, as you can see to the left, don't know what is behind the code until the image appears, like magic, before them. The game we played ensures good language and teamwork as they try to work out which image matches the code. Some children didn't know what the Olympics were and none of them had ver heard of Greco Roman wrestling or water polo - "What? They play handball in the water?" Well, yes, they sort of do.

I'm currently part of summer school and even though I didn't really want to be the ICT Guy during this time I really wanted to try out a few new ideas, namely QR codes with older children and mulit-app projects on the iPads.

What I am presenting to you below is an assembly that I ran using the iPads and iPod Touches as part of a treasure hunt activity based on the 2012 London Olympics. The reason I decided to use this approach was the huge range of ages involved. Summer school is 4 -11 and one or 2 children have only just come from Nursery (I'd forgotten just how small they are!). Also, this needed to cater more to the younger children than the older children with the older aiding the younger with loading the codes and steadying the iPads etc.

So, to get this underway I decided to use iPads with the younger children because they already had experience with QR codes and the iPads themselves. The older children obviously have (or should have) more adept fine motor skills to use the iPod Touches speedily in order to help their younger team mates.


I made a simple Google Presentation to show the children a: what the Olympics is about (all the children are multi-lingual and English is either a second, third or distant language). The children need as much visual stimulus as possible - part of the reasoning behind using QR codes and the devices.

The first couple of slides show the Olympic Rings, what QR is and a video with Micheal Phelps as the thumbnail. Micheal Phelps is recently the greatest olympian ever with 22 medals. You might want to keep this fact as a tie-break question later.

Play the video. I asked the children to shout out the events they knew but with them being second language learners just shouting running or jumping or hitting was fine. The video plays the events so quickly that they don't have time to really rest. It's just a starter for what's to come.


Where do we use QR codes?

Next, show then QR codes. We have an image of the QR code use in Taipei for Christmas cards and children's presents being delivered to shopping centers. You will want to edit this no doubt.

For the next part you definitely need a large-ish projector screen. The QR code test is for each group of children to try out the App on the Touches and iPads. It also gives you time to assess your network speed too. If you're using this with 20 or more devices then this part is crucial to the succes of the activity. We're using 30 devices and had to move an access point to our ampitheater (we use these if you need a good quality, load-balancing AP).

The children then get a 'feel' for how this works. I then repeated the test with another simple image and told them about the treasure hunt. The game would have prizes of Gold, Silver and Bronze wrapped chocolate bars these were a Twix for Gold, tin foil wrapped Kit Kats (silver chocolate is very hard to come by!) and Hersheys something or other with a deep brown/ bronzed package.


Play the Game

The game would go like this: The children would, in their teams, explore the ground floor area for QR codes. The codes were placed all over the walls, windows, floors and ceilings (Ceilings - make sure they are flat else they bend and are unusable). The children have a sheet to fill in when they think they have found the correct sport to match the name of the event. On the bottom of the QR code is another code that matches the answer sheet the teachers have. See below.

Children's Sheet (Blank)


Teacher's Answer Sheet with all the codes.


At the end of 12 minutes (we chose 12 as the 2012 Olympics!) the children were brought back and the scores tallied. If there were any tie breaks we chose the ones who had the bonus archery or Water Polo answer. If they didn't have them then it was a simple question (above)

Winners Ceremony

The children didn't know who was gold, silver or bronze. Instead we used the QR code on the big screen for the children to use the iPods and find out. I said the team name and brought up the final QR code for them to find out. Then the prizes were handed out. All being chocolate they went down and treat.

A simple but fun way to explore, discover and learn about new events at the Olympics.

Next, Olympic Art and the strange events that happened at both the Ancient games, the fore runner to the modern games and the modern games from 1896.

The .Zip file of all the QR code Images.



iPads in Education: Reception/ EYFS ICT Review 2011/ 2012

We are coming to the end of another Year at your school. The ICT dept. is gaining strength and is asiPad with Children's Book impermanent as ever: we are to become facilitators instead of discrete ICT teachers (albeit our new guy is 'front loading' skills for me to transfer in cross curricular lessons).

The problem we both face now is that the Reception children are demons on the iPads. They have been utterly sublime all the way to the Easter break. We have tackled some really tricky clusters of skills such as in-app camera work (MadPad and Puppet Pals) and other combinations such as animation using imports of various kinds via DoInk.

While these successes are great on their own and sharing the glorious depth a 5 year old has had to go to to achieve this - its not till we switch to a desktop that we see that the skills are so far removed from each other I am now trying to fast-track our classes in readiness for Year 1.

By Year 1 my set baseline is that they should be able to: Log in unaided (Ctrl + Alt+ Del), find a folder, open an application either from the folder or from the programs menu, use the application from a demo and then explore the application's buttons (lets take MS Paint or Purple Mash as a picture cue here). I have to say that the children just fail at the middle parts of that list. But it's not their fault.

There are many pluses that I will come to in a moment but the alien world these children now find themselves in is quite scary for me and them. Once articulate boys who are very versed in the use of the iPad and very much able to laud their abilities like some champion athlete are dumbfounded by the use of a rigid menu structure and a set of hard, fast rules that govern Microsoft (Linux and Mac to a similar degree) applications. This is a steep learning curve. One boy is almost mute by what he is new to.

The children now have to travel to the ICT suite (up a flight of stairs and some way down the school. Sometimes across a bridge!) where I once used to arrive in their classroom with a iPads set out or for them to gather from the trolley (tool chest). They would come to the carpet and see what new app I had for them this week or how we were going to take last week's introduction further. We would demo, talk, explore and revisit in a very fluid manner that was social and very mobile. Children are paired and in small huddles sharing advice like an infant notice board. This is now very different. I could almost play the theme tune to 2001 Aspace Odyssey and all would fit into place.

They now have a terminal to sit at in a big ICT suite that isn't mobile by any sense and they have only two people to share their learning with or lean on for advice before our wonderful Learning Assistants or I arrive as surrogate triage and apply TLC via Ctrl +Z. I feel for them.

They now have a mouse. Not the thing that 'eeks' and 'squeaks' and certainly isn't call Jerry. It's green and its best used with a thumb. Apparently. I've never had so many children use a mouse with a thumb in the near 8 years as an ICT leader. Every time I revert their hand position so that they use the mini-mice correctly that as soon I turn around it's back to a trigger position with the mouse sideways and the cable pointing left.

The mouse is peculiar to them. The remoteness of the gestures in relation to the screen and indeed the cursor, has at least 10-15% of the children looking at the mouse like a learner in a car checking the gear leaver by looking down (right before they have a prang). The problem is that this remoteness has a knock-on effect: Flash-based activities are forever being right-clicked leaving the child lost for words as to why its asking them do they either want some kind of hardware acceleration altered or grant access to the web cam or microphone. Alternatively it will just zoom in to 800% via right click and leave the eye of a cartoon Monkey blinking repeatedly at them. When you're 5, got your headphones on and seemingly in the jungle; to be 3cm away from the cornea of an Orangutan I too would wonder what this mouse is doing for my education.

What I find the most difficult is the change for my own teaching. Last week I set up videos for the children to watch and follow as I usually do for all other year groups. My own displacement was as plain as the nose on my face as I had completely overreached my audience. The video was set up for them and in my thinking, my experience, the deftness of their ability of using an iPad and that they are term 3 Reception, I thought that they could switch a window and play a video return to attempt the task. I cannot explain the look on their faces - imagine they'd asked for a pony and I gave them a goldfish. Without a bowl. You're someway close.

iTunes EulaIt's not as if they don't use a desktop in their classrooms - they can if they elect to as part of their child based learning it's just that the iPad is the all singing all dancing poster boy of Infant ICT. And therefore they don't opt to use it. It's what I have installed, championed even and I must re-evaluate its use in Reception. It's great, it's fantastic but the desktop, as with laptops still have a very firm place in young educational technology and for a log while yet.

I think we (read the tweets) have gotten carried away with the plethora of opportunity the iPad offers. I mean, its a complete device for Infant ICT. It's cartoon, a book that speaks, it has two cameras, records voice, dictates, apps galore, games, creativity (for the nay sayers drop: me a line I'll set you right!) and above all it is tactile. This combination is a 5 year old's dream.

Yes, there are issues with a device without a proper file system and walled garden of an ecosystem whose Eula can change at any time (especially where app purchases for schools are concerned) but this week has taught me something: it's not the be all and end all. And those of you who come across this transition will know what I'm talking about. Depth, breadth and balance is going to be mantra next year as we move into the new territory of facilitation.