In French, this handcrafted wax seal necklace reads Fidele En Absence which means Fidelity in Absence. Pictured is a turtle dove perched on the tree of life, a symbol of interconnectedness and unity.

As more schools and districts embrace iPads, the need for professional learning becomes more apparent. Even if the iPad appears to be a drop-dead easy device to use, the central question becomes how to best leverage it in the classroom for student achievement.

Some time ago, I shared the following–liberally stolen and adapted from others without proper attribution (actually, feel free to leave a comment)–before as a definition of what success looks like:

Success in this endeavor is defined in the following ways:
In the Classroom:

  1. Classroom usage of iPads will reflect student creation of content, rather than content-consumption of instruction. For example, instead of watching math videos, students create them.
  1. Students and staff create interactive videos of projects and  mini-lessons to increase differentiation and easily make them public online.
  1. Students and staff  create and use online student surveys and audio/visual apps to voice their emotions, curiosities, and academic goals.
  1. Students and staff employee district-hosted and cloud-based storage solutions, as well as websites such as Google Docs and Edmodo to create a faster feedback loop. Since these sites (e.g. GoogleDocs, Edmodo) utilize color coding, instantaneous feedback, and automatic student grouping, they facilitate data analysis.
  1. Students and staff will develop multi-media presentations to communicate concepts and theories.
  1. Students will increase research and global connections as they access information portals and network with other students in other places around the world to research curricular topics.
  1. Students and staff will be able to use online texts enabling them to annotate and highlight materials for their personal reflection as well as writing research.
  1. Students and staff will be able to share writing from rough draft to finish copy in a highly efficient way.
  1. Students and staff will share presentations and respond in real time to presentations given by the teacher and other students.
  1. Students and staff will interface data collection probes to collect experimental data in the laboratory setting.
  1. Students and staff will collect, organize, analyze, and report experimental data, results, and conclusions in an efficient and professional manner.
  1. Students and staff will participate in, as well as design, online quizzes and exams to test knowledge and evaluate understanding.

In the School Leaders’ Offices

  1. Campus principals, assistant principals, academic deans, administrative assistants, and NCLB facilitators will implement online assessment tools that provide anytime, anywhere access to data for analysis.
  1. Evaluate student and staff performance in the use of technologies that facilitate achievement of the 4Cs (e.g.

  1. Enhance productivity in the use of online resources.

And, of course, trying to evaluate this or set metrics can be problematic, as this quick overview of “fidelity of implementation” (source linked for the adapted text) and the “assessment checklist” (adapted from iPads for Education, which includes a link to an awesome report, 21 Steps to 1to1 Success).

IntroductionDeveloping metrics to assess fidelity of implementation ensure whether or not participants (students and staff), organizers of the EC3 initiative are making progress. What is fidelity of implementation?Fidelity of implementation occurs when teachers use the instructional strategies and deliver the content of the curriculums in the same way that they were designed to be used and delivered.Why is fidelity of implementation important in teaching research-based curriculums?Fidelity is critical to achieving the same results that were achieved during the research. When changes are made in how the curriculum is presented, it is unclear what the effects on the students will be.Critical to the fidelity of the implementation of a curriculum is the importance of facilitating learning activities that align to the goals of the implementation. This enables teachers to facilitate teaching and learning with the iPad according to the recommended best practices. Furthermore, teachers are encouraged to follow the recommendations of the Curriculum-Technology staff. 

Assessment ChecklistThe following items should be considered when assessing success or failure:

  1. Wireless Network access
  1. Sufficient bandwidth
  1. Bandwidth management
  1. iPad device management
  1. Procedure for charging iPads en masse
  1. Safe storage of the iPads
  1. Teacher Training on How to Use the Carts
  1. How to report if an iPad is damaged
  1. Clear signage for reporting problems is in place on cart and iPad (as a wallpaper image)
  1. iPad protection via a case
  1. How to Label iPads
  1. What restrictions will be in place regarding app installation or uninstallation
  1. Who has rights to install apps and how is that accomplished
  1. Standard apps across implementation
  1. Identify procedure for what happens when iPads run out of space
  1. Peripheral Management
  1. Student headphones or earbuds
  1. Printing solution (if needed)
  1. Data Storage
  1. How students are saving their data
  1. Login/logout procedure for students and staff on cart iPads
  1. Professional Learning
  1. SAMR Model
  1. LOTI Assessment and H.E.A.T.
  1. C-SCOPE connection
  1. Budget
  1. The cost is supportable over time (e.g. not exchanging a small initiative with impact to a few students and staff for a larger one that impacts the entire district).
  1. Processes are in place for acquiring new equipment, necessary apps, transferring ownership from one iPad to another or one campus to another

The question going around in my mind in this blog entry is simply, what is the best way to set measurable objectives with a device that defies fidelity of implementation? The part that I cut out with fidelity of implementation is, ironically, the part that ensures success in such an implementation–the expectation that all teachers will be doing the same thing. This is represented in the following way:

Critical to the fidelity of the implementation of a curriculum is the importance of teaching the lessons in order that the publisher has presented them. Teachers are also to teach each lesson according to the publisher’s recommended time. Furthermore, teachers are instructed to follow the recommendation of the publisher about how many lessons to teach per week. In addition, teachers are to make use of each publisher’s recommended questions and homework pages or activity sheets that will give students the opportunity to practice the skill they are learning. In brief, all of the publishers have specific recommendations for their programs that teachers should follow.

I also ask myself, “Is it time to forsake fidelity of implementation?” or redefine it? I’m not sure–which is why I’m blogging this. Like the necklace at the top of this blog entry, fidelity is the symbol of interconnectedness and unity. Isn’t it ironic that a device that connects us–the iPad–can also separate us from our fiercely held beliefs about curriculum?

In the meantime, here are some training resources for the iPad deployments….
  1. Craig Nansen’s collections:
    2. Diigo bookmarks –
    3. iPad for administrators preso notes –
    4. App list recommendations –
  2. John R. Sowash’s Google on iPad site –
  3. Jac de Haan:
    1. Lessons learned in our first 10 months of an iPad program: 3 things we did right, 5 things we learned the hard way
    2. Deployment resources, lists of apps, learning communities lists: big list of quality resources
    3. Complete 1-to-1 deployment guide: questions cover pedagogy, infrastructure, and procedure
    4. iPad screencasting: how to create time-shifted content using the iPad
    5. End of year turn in procedure for iPads: steps to take-in iPads, backup and check for damage
Do you know of any other resources?

Get Blog Updates via Email!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure