A job shadowing experience at schools typically involves observing and learning from teachers and staff to gain insight into their daily routines, responsibilities, and best practices. From December 18th to 22nd, 2023, our school had the opportunity to visit two prestigious institutions in the Canary Islands: Brains International School in Gran Canaria, known for its exceptional use of iPad technology in the classroom, and Costa Adeje International School in Tenerife, renowned for its expertise in implementing Chromebooks and Google Education tools.
By observing, analyzing, and participating in the iPad and Chrome integration strategies and practices at the host institutions, we gained insights into effective ways to use both tools to enhance student learning, address issues, and streamline technology use. Additionally, we identified the unique features of the host institutions’ programs that contribute to student engagement, success, and motivation. In addition to this, we had the opportunity to compare and contrast the features and benefits of both iPad and Chrome technologies in education. We also gained a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and limitations of each system and device.
Through this comparative analysis, we have gained valuable insights that enable us to make informed decisions regarding how to optimize the use of technology in our iPad and Google Education-based educational setting. This will allow us to leverage the full potential of our devices and tools, and ultimately enhance the learning experience for our students. To provide more context for our findings and inform our decision-making process, let’s take a closer look at the specific technologies and practices we observed during our visits to the participating schools.
During our visit to the first school, which utilizes iPads as a key technology, we had the opportunity to speak with teachers from various disciplines and observe several lessons. One of the most interesting lessons we observed was a cross-disciplinary lesson combining Physics and technology. In this lesson, students used iPad features to measure the speed of a falling ball from different heights, and then analyzed the results statistically. At the end of the lesson, students had to write reports about their findings.
We also observed students using iPads to enhance their oral presentations, and later on we encountered an innovative lesson in which sports apps were utilized to improve athletic performance. Additionally, we had the opportunity to record a podcast at the school’s radio station, gaining insights into the school’s media production processes. Across all of these activities, we noticed how iPad and Apple technology were seamlessly integrated into the school’s curriculum and daily operations, supporting a diverse range of learning activities and media production.
During our visit to the second school, we had the opportunity to explore the world of Chromebook technology and Google Education. We were impressed by the high level of structure and discipline in the school, and the seamless integration of technology into the learning experience.
One standout feature of this school was the requirement for teachers to upload their yearly course plans to a Google system, which promotes a high level of organization and consistency across the school. We also observed how students were empowered to take ownership of their learning through the use of Chromebooks and other Google technology.
Overall, we were impressed by the school’s commitment to using technology to support a structured and effective learning environment, and the ways in which students were encouraged to take an active role in their own learning.
Through interviews with students, we discovered that while the use of technology and independent learning has many benefits, there is still a desire for traditional in-person instruction and social interaction with teachers. Based on these findings, we have begun to develop a pilot program in collaboration with the two schools we visited that will allow for cross-school group work and collaboration.
Additionally, we realized that our own school has a strong foundation in technology, with both iPad devices and Google tools in place. We plan to capitalize on this infrastructure and open our school to international collaborations, starting with technology as the first step.
Prof. Carolina Ribado-Robaina