Matt Britland

MLDP - Porfolio

Leadership Challenge

Using iPads to close the gap between the use of technology and teaching and learning.

What do I mean?

At the moment technology can be a barrier to T&L. To engage with ICT, teachers and students must leave their room and move to a computer room. Much of the time, computer rooms are used in the same way they have been used for years. T&L has not been improved as it is not evolving with the times and taking into account how students engage with technology.

IPads can turn each classroom into an ICT room. iPads can improve engagement, encourage innovation and support and facilitate teaching and learning in new ways.

This is my journey on how I planned and launched the KGS iPad Trial.

Middle Leadership Development Programme

Welcome to my portfolio for the MLDP course.

This portfolio includes:

  • Objectives
  • The Write Up (Report)
  • Introduction
  • Technology Survey (Evidence)
  • Technology Working Group (Evidence)
  • Initial Notes (Evidence)
  • HoD iPad Launch (Evidence)
  • Preparation for the INSET (Evidence)
  • INSET (Evidence)
  • Preparing for Trial (Evidence)
  • Testimonials (Evidence)
  • Leadership - Positives
  • Leadership - What to improve
  • Conclusion
  • Final Presentation


  • To successfully lead change in the way technology is used for teaching and learning
  • To inspire fellow teachers and senior management in seeing the pedagogical advantages of using iPads
  • To learn how to lead and influence those who do not share my vision
  • To lead and manage a whole school staff INSET launching iPads
  • To implement and lead the iPad trial
  • To use mobile technology to improve T&L and engagement

The Write Up

Please click on the link below for my MLDP report. Each section of this portfolio is based on element of my report.

The Leadership Challenge: Report - Link


As soon as the iPad was released I saw the potential impact it could have on education and teaching/learning.

A year and a half ago, the Head asked me what I thought the future of educational ICT was. My answer was 'mobile technology'. After purchasing my 1st iPad several months after it was released I began downloading and using educational Apps. During this time I was reviewing and evaluating how it could change classroom pedagogy. The possibilities were very exciting.

My initial thoughts were that iPads and other mobile technology would make T&L more engaging, exciting, and innovative it would also allow teacher to very easily track what is being learnt in lessons and provide evidence.

What would I do first? I thought it was important to carry out a school technology survey. What did our students have access to at home?

Technology Survey

Lower School Technology Survey - Link

The technology survey was aimed at the lower school, so Prep to 3rd year. The purpose of this survey was to glean as much information about what our students were able to access from home. Were they already using mobile technology at home? If so what were they using? Tablets? Smartphones? I also wanted to find out if many students were taking a step back in terms of technology when they came into school.

If many students are already engaging with mobile technology at home, we should ceratinly be embracing it at school. At a very minimum to teach students productive use of smartphones and tablets. But if we push ourselves as teachers, we can improve the way we teach and the way our students learn.

The survey was taken over a year ago, which makes the results even more surprising.

  • 60% of students owned a smartphone.
  • Out of those who did not have access to one 67% intended to buy one.
  • 44% of students had access to a tablet (93% of which were iPads)
  • Out of those who did not have access to one 45% intended to buy one.

It is clear that even a year ago many students had access to mobile technology. Just not at school.

The next step was to create a Technology Working group. Graham (Asst Head T&L) set the group, which included other heads of departments, teachers and IT staff.

Technology Working Group

Presentation for the Group - Link

This group was really important to me. It has been the first time since joining the school that we had had an open discussion about what technology we could adopt.

The purpose of this particular group was to look into mobile technology. I knew what I thought was best for the school, iPads.

If I was to take the lead with the mobile technology incentive, I would have to sell the idea of iPads and explain the benefit to teaching and learning.

Members of the groups began showing Windows Tablets, Netbooks and other Windows devices. This for me would be a step backwards and go against what the school was trying to do.

My decision was to create a presentation for the members of the group about the iPad. I wanted to take the lead and show the groups what it can do. Many members had never used an iPad before, which is possibly why they were hesitant to adopt a new device when they could stick with what they know.

During this time, I also spoke to members of staff and members of senior management. Showed them what the benefits of the iPads were to teaching and learning. If there was no interest from staff, an iPad trial would be very difficult. I spent this time, enaging, inspiring and building up relationships with staff. I also spent time talking to Edward about this. He was the man holding the purse strings, therefore he needed to see the value.

After several meetings, the decision was made trial the use of iPads. This was fantastic news. However, now came the hard bit: organising, running and leading the trial.

Initial Notes

Initial Notes - Link

A good leader has to be organised and must plan effectively if they are to lead change. If a leader is seen to be doing this, other will put more faith into their idea.

The plan also needed to be clear to enable my line manager to see exactly what it was we needed to do.

HoD Launch

Launch to HoDs presentation - Link

Before launching to HoDs myself, Nigel and Graham had a meeting to decide exactly how it would work. As a group we decided that every HoD should have have their own iPad with a £15 budget for Apps.

It is very important that HoDs experience the iPad and use it before creating iPad projects. Once they have used the iPad they can nominate an iPad Champion who will take ownership of the device and produce projects in conjunction with other members of department.

Before the launch at the 1st HoDs meeting of term, I produced a lengthy presentation that would be used to explain how the trial would work. It would also be made available to HoDs as reference. Once I had completed the presentation I passed it to Graham who refined it and re-worded some of the slides.

I was nervous before the HoD meeting. It was so important to get right. I needed other HoDs to see the value of what we are doing. They needed to see that we had a vision, it was well planned and we knew what we were doing. It was my job to inspire and promote technological change that will improve and support teaching and learning.

It went very well, all HoDs seemed very enthused, motivated and inspired. Even some of the more 'traditional' teachers seemed to be onboard.

I was pleased with the way it went. To improve, I would have liked to have been less nervous. Some important points may have been rushed through, although Graham did elaborate on points that I rushed over.

Preparation for INSET

The INSET was the big one, all staff members would be in one room. Some of the more experienced staff members would have seen new technology come and go. It HAD to be clear that this technology had value and staff would be trained how to use this, as well as shown WHY they should use it. If the INSET was not a success, it would undermine what we were trying to do.

To sell this technology to staff I had a vision of what I wanted to to do. I wanted it to be an event, something like an Apple, Microsoft or Google keynote presentation to launch a new product.

I wanted staff members to be excited about how they could use iPads. How they can inspire students, support teaching and learning and make us use mobile devices more productively. For me, the best way to do this was to get existing members of staff to show how they would use the iPad for teaching and learning.

In order to do this I asked several teachers to help. I approached these teachers with a specific App in mind. Once they were confident in what the App was for and how it would support teaching and learning I asked them to organise their own presentations.

Before the INSET we had several meetings to iron out the details of the presentations and ensure all those involved were happy with what they had to do.

It was important that those involved saw me as leading the iPad trail. They needed to feel confident in what I was trying to do. I had to lead by example and show that I was an expert in my field and that I was someone they could speak to for advice.

As well as leading and communicating with teachers, I also had to share my vision with the theatre manager. He would do the lighting and help with the projector. I took some of his ideas onboard as he has more experience with large events. The IT technicians were also very important in order to make this trial work.

We do not always share the same vision so this is often difficult. However, this time I felt we were on the same page. Some issues did arise with Apple TV, after a couple of cross wires about how Apple TV worked they were able to get Apple TV to talk to the network. This was a very important step forward and we were ready for the INSET.


iPad Launch to all Staff - Link

The staff taking part in the INSET arrived at 8am and we checked the iPads and other bits of tech worked. There were a few initial problems, NearPod did not work. This was a show stopping App and needed to work. I spoke to IT and they came down to sort it out. I was very patient and tried very hard to keep my calm. The problem was eventually resolved and the iPads were ready to go.

At 9am the rest of the school staff arrived and I was nervous. In fact, I think all those speaking were nervous too.

First up was the Assistant Head, who went through the presentation.

It was a great set up for the rest of the morning. The plenary slide, was obviously used at the end of the morning in the conclusion.

Next up was Tim (Physics), who showcased how he would use SolarWalk and why. Then Amy (History) and Graham went through Timeline: World War 2. A truly awesome App.

Helen (Library) then demonstrated and explained an amazing interactive magazine App that she had created herself using Adobe InDesign. She had used it for open evening and students and parents were blown away by it.

The last person before break was Jason (Music) who went through several creative music Apps.


The first App we showcased after the break was perhaps one of my favourites. Certainly one I think that can change the way iPads are used in the classroom - NearPod. This was a really interactive and fun session led by Mike (Biology). Everyone in the room were seriously blown away by the session.

The last person to showcase some Apps was me. I am not sure how everyone else was feeling but I was pretty nervous.

My session was on non subject specific Apps. Using Blooms Taxonomy of Apps I demonstrated 6 Apps that could be used across the curriculum. It was great to see in the afternoon INSET some teachers using the Apps I had demonstrated. Certainly put a smile on my face.

After my session, Graham concluded the INSET and we spent the last 30 minutes answering questions and talking to departments.

All-in-all an incredible morning.

When I went up to the staffroom for lunch afterwards I saw something amazing...members of staff sat around a table all with iPads, completely ignoring a massive tray of biscuits!

I was very proud of myself. Organising an INSET is hard work, especially when it involves 7 or 8 people. It was the 1st time I had to lead such an event. It helped a great deal that I had people to support me as well as some great teachers presenting.

Preparation for Trial

Project Proposal Form - Link

Once the INSET was over, I requested HoDs to send me the name of their iPad Champions. When I had all the names I asked IT to create a mailing list for me so that I could easily email all the champions.

I wanted all departments to submit iPad projects, to keep track of them all I created a form in Google Docs and gave champions two weeks to submit their ideas.

Over the two weeks, I made myself available every lunchtime so that champions could come and ask questions and request advice.

I also sent 'newsletter' style emails containing new and noteworthy apps, iPad tutorials I posted on YouTube as well as sending department specific emails.

Basically, I made myself available. I spoke to staff members about the trial remained enthusiastic about the trial.

When the two weeks were up, myself and Graham looked through the projects and signed several off for the second half of the Autumn term.

I then contacted the teachers running the project as well as IT to let them know what Apps were required and when the projects would run.

The first project will run during the second week of November 2012.

Basic iPad Settings
Gestures on the iPad
Guided Access - iPad (iOS6)
iPad Keyboard - Tutorial
Using DropBox with the iPad (iOS 6)


I asked for those who contributed to the iPad INSET to anonymously send me a testimonial. You can read them below:

"Matt did a fantastic job of leading and directing the iPAD technology launch for INSET. The event was superbly organised, the technology - including Apple TV - was functioning excellently and really heightened the engagement of the audience. Above all, Matt was able to inspire other members of staff to truly get on board with the iPad and to go above and beyond to help showcase his ideas for technology within the school."

"Matt is inspirational in his enthusiasm and vision for moving IT and mobile technology forward at KGS. He has understood how I can best make use of mobile technology and taylored his ideas to suit my specific needs. He was very supportive and encouraging in the way he helped me to develop my presentation for our school INSET and gave me very positive feedback and praise in my contributions. He provides a good role model for other HoDs in how to be enthusiastic for their own subject and was highly professional and efficient in leading and delivering a whole school training day."

"Matt had a clear vision for the day and worked hard to ensure that it was delivered. He paid close attention to detail and the result was a session that enthused and motivated people to make the next step. The key target now will be for him to keep the momentum going and to support those who may still be reticent and daunted by the technology."

"Matt’s enthusiasm for tech innovation is infectious and highly motivating. Matt’s approach was well-considered with a clear focus resulting in a very tight INSET that avoided many of the potential pitfalls when introducing new technology to experienced teachers. Throughout the preparation for and delivery of the INSET he kept energy levels up in the face of various technical issues and successfully recruited a team from a variety of subjects to present different possible applications. This resulted in a team effort which was very effective in counter-acting the potential issue of IT operating ‘in silo’ and being seen to dictate change: consequently the majority rather than the minority were inspired to experiment with the new technology. "

Leadership - Positives

Building Relationships

One of the things I have tried to do over the past 2 years is too build relationships. There are no other people in my department and when I joined, ICT didn't seem to have much influence around the school. This is something I wanted to change. In order to successfully lead, relationships needed to be built. I think I have been good at building relationships with support staff, teachers, middle managers as well as senior manager and the Head. Without these relationships, the iPad trial would be far more difficult to get off the ground.


Trust comes with building relationships. I am honest with everyone who I work with and I would like to think that I am trusted by people at school. Trust has been needed in order to get SLT and staff members on board with the trial. They need to trust that we are doing the right thing.


Over the past two years I have proven that I am a creative and innovative leader. I have lead two major T&L and communication innovations. These are the use of Edmodo (still in trial period) and School Facebook Groups. Along with the iPad trial I have proven that I can lead change by using creative and innovative ideas and technologies.

By being innovative and creative I can inspire both staff and students.


In order to successfully lead you must offer support. This is has been something I have been doing throughout the project. Whether it is making myself available at lunchtimes for staff to come and speak to me or providing training videos and support emails.

The iPad champions and HoDs also know that I am available to talk at any time and have met with several departments over the last month.

Shared Authority

Whilst I believe I am an expert on mobile technology and ICT, I recognise that some people will know more than me about certain aspects of the iPad trial. I will not pretend I know something I don't and will always consider other people's opinions. Several of the iPad champions are very confident iPad users and have been able to offer advice and ideas which I have used. By making use of this advice and I have shown that staff can put their faith in me. It also proves that I can be a humble leader.


In order to be a good leader you must be able to successfully plan a project. A great deal of planning has gone into this iPad trial. This has been done alongside Graham and Nigel. I think I have proven that I can plan a large whole school initiative as well as a whole school INSET. However, this would not have been possible without using the relationships I have built and the help and cooperation of colleagues.

Leadership - What to Improve

Public Speaking

This is something I feel is very important in leadership. If you are good it can really inspire your audience. Whilst I don't think I am terrible there is certainly improvements to make. I often get very nervous which can make me rush through what I have to say. To improve, I need to have more experience and make sure I fully plan what I want to say.

Dealing with difficult Relationships

I have had a lot of experience in dealing with difficult relationships during my time in retail management. However, it is far more difficult in larger organisations and especially in education. I do try my best and on the whole handle issues quite well. In order to improve, I need to be more patient and try to see problems before they appear. I also need to learn more strategies on how to deal with work relationship problems.


I think confidence will come with experience. In general I am a confident person but the iPad trial was a big deal and I sometimes questioned if what I was doing was right. It worked out fine in the end. I need to be more confident in my decisions and trust in my own judgement.


In the past I have felt that I have tried a lot of initiatives but never fully evaluated or reviewed them. I will then get another idea and start on that. I must make sure with the iPad trial I do not do this. Every aspect of this project must be reviewed and evaluated by both students and teachers.To do this successfully I need to plan and work closely with Graham and Nigel.


I have really enjoyed leading the iPad trial so far and am very excited about the next year. Going forward I would very much like to be involved in other mobile technology initiatives, as well whole school initiatives not associated solely with ICT.

The iPad trail has also made me want to enter senior management even more.

To conclude, I will refer back to my MLDP objectives:

  • To successfully lead change in the way technology is used for teaching and learning

This is still work in progress although the change is certainly underway and staff members are inspired by mobile technology and how it can improve teaching and learning.

  • To inspire fellow teachers and senior management in seeing the pedagogical advantages of using iPads

I think that this objective has been met. The INSET helped massively and both teachers and senior management really see the advantages of the iPad in the classroom.

  • To learn how to lead and influence those who do not share my vision

Using the MLDP modules I have adopted some new techniques in order to meet this objective. It has been difficult but I feel by showing how the iPad can be used and what Apps are available to change the way we teach, I am on my way to completing this.

  • To lead and manage a whole school staff INSET launching iPads

I have successfully lead and managed a whole school staff INSET with help and support of my colleagues.

  • To implement and lead the iPad trial

The preparation for the trial is complete and all the projects have been finalised. Once IT have successfully got the iPads ready for use the trail can begin.

  • To use mobile technology to improve T&L and engagement

It could take quite some time before we know for sure if iPads do improve T&L and engagement. In fact, we won't be evaluating the first set of projects until Christmas.

However, since the iPad champions have been given the iPads several of them have used the iPad during lessons. I asked them how they have used iPads for T&L and what student engagement was like. This is what they said:


'The iPad has been hugely effective in group enquiry tasks. I got my forth form to set their own questions on the topic we had just studied and then attempt to answer them using safari as well as their textbooks and notes. They were able to give really comprehensive answers to questions, and using the guided access tool meant they were always on task.

I have also used an app that has all of churchill's speeches on it to let my fifth form listen to his oratory skills whilst completely another task on the wartime prime minister. This appeals to those students who have more of a audio learning style.

At sixth form level, as well as using them to research and make notes, I have been able to record any presentations they do and will eventually put them on Dropbox so that the whole class will be able to access them when it comes to revision time.

They have also proved very useful if I have a group that finishes early and I want to give them some extension work that is on another PowerPoint.'

Amy on engagement:

'...Excellent – I have never seen them work so hard when answering questions and the presentations were ten times better when they knew they were being filmed! ( I filmed one forth form set and not the other and the difference in standard was amazing!)'


'Used the ipads in my A2 lessons for research and note taking or presenting – using explain everything and show me, students used safari to research intervention treatments for certain drugs and presented it to the other group- this was then emailed as a pdf file to the whole class, students were engaged and focused throughout- although did not feel confident enough to record their own voices onto the presentation'

Anna on engagement:

'...I defn think they were more engaged than usual research tasks- I don’t know whether that was just novelty aspect but i think probably more to do with it being a more fun task'

As well as some feedback from teachers using the iPads in lessons, I have received evaluations from the INSET I ran. These comments can be used as evidence of 'closing the gap'.

INSET Feedback

The comments were overwhelmingly positive for the most part. The major criticism being that members of staff wanted more Apps demonstrated that were aimed solely at their department, which I understand. This will be addressed in the future. There were also some questions about 'The Cloud'. Foir instance: is it reliable? What is it? Again, these questions will be addressed in further staff training sessions.

I am really looking forward to seeing how the iPad trial works out and how other mobile devices can be utilised in education.

Where next?

The next step in my MLDP leadership challenge is to make sure that all teachers are able to run their projects successfully. By the Easter holidays I would like to have run all of our trial projects.

Each project will be fully evaluated. Each student and teacher involved will complete an online evaluation form that I will create using Google Docs. I can then analyse the results and judge whether the iPad truly does improve teaching and learning.

Once this trial has finished and if it a success we can decide whether we need to buy more devices. Will we go 1:1? Buy several class sets? Combine with other mobile technology.

I would also like to run another INSET to show staff example of projects ran during the trial. This will help to further inspire people and show more examples of how the iPad can support teaching and learning.

The future is very exciting.

Final Presentation

The link to the presentation will be added once I have presented it to my peers.