1. Name: Richard Wells
  2. Nationality: British living in New Zealand
  3. Job: Head of technology at a state secondary school
  4. Why Blog?
    As an ex-IT engineer who couldn’t stand working with IT engineers, I know what most teachers are going through when trying to get support with their use of IT.

“iPads for schools” is great but…

Many schools fail to setup good support networks or provide the sensible PD that’s required to use them effectively. This is the gap I hope to fill. This blog discusses simple sensible steps to using the iPad in your school and its obvious effect in delivering 21st Century, student-centred learning.

Thanks for visiting and appreciating my work.

Appreciating 2014b


As all the education geeks say, “It’s not about the device.”

But … it is about:

  1. SIMPLICITY: The iPad is only a device but Apple has built a complete eco-system that makes everything very easy for non-technical people. In general, you’ll find people that argue for Android, Microsoft or “Open-source” are geeks and can cope with searching for and setting up complicated groups of tools from various sources.
  2. SUPPORT: Apple’s support system for those not so geeky and the ease at which they can discover the next step or application is years ahead of any rival. Also, the iPad is so much more common in schools now, that it’s easier to find help as a teacher if you are on an iPad.
  3. WORKING TOGETHER: Within the school, having everyone working on the same device makes it easier for the teachers and the students, who themselves are not often completely savvy when it comes to being productive with technology (They’re great at gaming/YouTube but…). Also Proffessionl development becomes so much easier.
  4. RELIABILITY: I know a school technician who was adamant at the start of their BYOD (Bring your own device) rollout that the school must leave the choice of device open and that there was important value in Androids devices. After 4 months of supporting the variety of devices, he recommended to the school leadership the 2013 should be iPad only! He said: “They just work and the others have problems”
  5. 3RD PARTY SUPPORT: The iPad has become the globe’s choice for education and the other companies who have been involved in education for years are producing their tools for iPad first and sometimes iPad only.
  6. IBOOKS AUTHOR: This free Mac app for producing interactive books with animations, 3D objects, movies and quizzes is the easiest app I’ve ever used. It has been produced for the non-techies!
  7. ITUNESU delivers courses from all the top universities in the world and allows any teacher to organise an interactive individualised course with a range of resources from either the iTunesU system or ones own eBooks.
  8. NO TECHIES REQUIRED! It’s a universal problem that organisations’ tech support people are more interested in ‘their’ system and technical arguments, than what the users are actually trying to get done. This is particularly the case in schools. The iPad is a self-supported, easy-to-use, self-backing-up teaching system that only requires the techies to ensure there’s wireless.

I also Discuss ideas using 2 Twitter accounts:

@iPadWells  for Teacher & iPad Discussion

@iPad_4_Schools for blog announcements only

26 comments on “ABOUT

  1. I love your blog, and I want to refer one on your posts in my education research paper, but I have no idea who you are and who wrote the article. I looked everywhere on your blog and can’t find a name…

    • I knew I’d forgotten something! I think I was relying on people following my twitter accounts, which have a little more info on.

      I’ll add a bio but for now:
      Richard Wells
      From the UK but now Head of Technology at a New Zealand secondary school. As an ex IT engineer who couldn’t stand working with IT engineers, I know what most teachers are going through when trying to get support with IT.

  2. Hi Richard
    I’m currently writing an article for the journal of the Geographical Association in the UK. I’d like to include a section of an image from one of your Nutshell iPad guides, as wel as a mention for the site. Would that be OK ? I can send you a PDF of the completed article once it’s published later in the year.
    Please let me know via Twitter @GeoBlogs if that’s OK, or post here and I’ll get an e-mail I hope :)
    Keep up the good work

    Alan Parkinson

  3. Please please come present at our school’s iPad Summit in November! You know you’ve been wanting to visit India… Right? It’s the American Embassy School in New Delhi, where we’ve gone 1-to-1 with iPads in the ES and MS. Check it out: Theipassummit.com. Love love love your blog! Thank you!

  4. I’d be really interested to hear how you get round the inability to access interactive flash based free / low cost websites for language learning? e.g. mylo, Aussie languagesonline, zut, free textbook corresponding websites like tapisvolant and obento – the list is endless – the google or IPAD apps for language learning are too limited and do not match the curriculum. all I am left with is quizlet.com and that in no way replaces mylo/ zut / languages online, BBClanguages and a host of other quality language learning web based resources?

    • If the Apps don’t replce the websites I can recommend the Puffin Browser app as a Flash Player portal. It acts as a window through to your normal Flash websites on the iPad and is about 95% successful with Flash sites. I hope that helps. There are also alternative apps to Puffin too.

  5. Yes – the Puffin app only works to play flash video – it does not allow the interactive functionality to work properly at all – the time delay in processing the information is a real issue making it not worth using,

  6. Hi Richard, I work at a school in Australia and we are finding a lot of your content rather useful. We were wondering if we are able to use your posters in classrooms and such as they provide easy to follow instructions?
    Love your work and hope to see many more well created documents.

  7. Hi Richard,

    I’m writing an article on Flipped Classrooms and I would love to hear your views. Could you drop me an e-mail and perhaps you could answer a couple of questions for me?


  8. Hi Richard, we like your blog. We’d like you to try out BaiBoard (www.BaiBoard.com), collaboration app for iPad that enables teachers/students collaborate in whiteboard & PDFs in various forms.

  9. Hi Richard,
    you have created a great site and much food for though concerning your approaches to teaching. I love it. I also think your posters are bang on and was hoping that you would allow us to use them at our school.

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