Launching our BYO iPads

At my school, PLC Sydney, we just launched a BYO iPad program for our Year 5 and 6 students. This followed on from a fairly successful trial of iPads last year and the subsequent decision that we wanted our upper primary kids to have full time access to this technology. We initially looked at the idea of the school providing and managing the iPads, but in talking to the students it turned out that a very large percentage of them already owned iPads, so it didn’t seem to make much sense to spend a whole lot of money providing something that most of them already had. The general feeling from the parents was supportive of the BYO idea and the kids were keen of course.

So this week we officially launched the BYO program. We invited all the parents and students to come to an information night where we explained exactly how we wanted things to work, and far more importantly, why we felt this was the right move to be making. The response from parents was very positive, although a few were concerned that their children would not develop ¬†proper typing skills (which is amusing because it doesn’t seem that long ago when the big parental concern was that their children would not develop proper handwriting skills, so I guess we’re making progress!)

As well as uploading the slide deck to Slideshare, I also recorded the audio from the talk on my Nexus 4 using a Rode SmartLav Mic, then synced it up to the slides  using the Slidecast feature. This lets viewers listen to the accompanying soundtrack while the slides change in sync.

Slidecasting on Slideshare is, or rather, was, a very cool feature that I used quite a bit. Unfortunately they decided to deprecate that feature as of today, and it will stop working altogether by the end of next month, so if you’re seeing this blog post after that time I guess the audio Slidecast won’t be working. Sorry!

Do you know of any other slideware services that allow the syncing of an audio track? It’s a great feature and I’ll miss it if I can’t find a replacement.

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3 thoughts on “Launching our BYO iPads”

  1. Hi Chris, as I came across this post after audio had expired, I was wondering if you had notes to accompany the slides? It looks as though it was another amazing Betcher presentation. Regards Lisa

  2. Hi Lisa. I don’t actually have any notes as such, but I’ll see if I can find the original audio recording and post it here.

That's all well and good, but what do YOU think?