My 1:1 iPAD Journey with my SDClass
Year End Project for Open House and I was curious! What Apps did my students like and how did they use them? Some of their answers surprised me! Low tech project.
Interesting responses and a lot of fun!
How to use the iPad
Mistakes School Districts Make
5 Mistakes SDistricts Make Implementing iPads
Biggest mistake listed in the article in my opinion is trying to have multiple users on one iPad. These devices are best suited for single users. Sharing them and trying to standardize them limits the power of this incredible tool.
Take the Plunge
PLAY, Experiment & don't be afraid to fail.
Grow, try not to be complacent or afraid. This device will help with that if you allow yourself the opportunity to experiment, fail and play. If nothing else iPads can help you find more interesting ways to do the mundane. If you are lucky you will meet new & sometimes very interesting and often playful people along the way. Look at how you already use technology and just start. As you learn your confidence and creativity will grow. Just do one thing and build on that.
Be mindful of any bias you have.
iPads are more than their Apps
Learning to use the iPad effectively and efficiently doesn’t happen immediately nor for some ( like me) easily. I have found it takes a certain type of curiosity, flexibility, research, failing & learning, planning and a LOT of humor. You can take it out of the box and start using an App right away for the most part BUT the power of the iPad is more than its Apps. This was something I hadn't realized initially. There are many cool tricks and tips to make it a wonderful teaching tool. It is my hope my journey and what I learned helps others who find themselves with an iPad in their laps scratching their heads. Have fun!
Helpful Bytes & Student Tips I have Learned
1) Because 1:1 iPADS in a classroom setting is still somewhat new and novel get ready to step out of your comfort zone a bit . There will be a lot of trial and error , glitches and spontaneous learning. There are few mentors, fewer guide books but a lot of opinions and people willing to share their experiences. I have discovered so many willing to share their success and failures. So, It is exciting but at times frustrating and lonely. Especially if like me, your are the only teacher at your school with iPads in the classroom.
2) Prepare your self for the occasional misconceptions and sadly negativity. I experienced this more than once. The root cause is a bit unclear- fear of change, jealousy, thinking it is just another fad, different technology priorities, too expensive, thinking iPads should replace computers, etc.. But know you are making a difference while having the courage to change inside a system that rewards conformity, lock step teaching, assumes children all learn the same way and at the same rate. Also, the current fad to standardize everything even our children coupled with the believe that state mandated tests are indicators of real learning conflict with this tool. iPads don't lend themselves well to standardization- they invite innovation, creativity and thinking. iPads are a personal tool not meant to be a shared laptop/computer.
3) Give yourself permission to experiment, fail , innovate and grow. Remember making mistakes are chances to grow and learn. Really !
4) Have FUN and enjoy this incredible opportunity and journey . Be curious, explore and play...then get planning.
5) Balance- find ways to integrate hands on learning the old fashion way with this powerful tool. The iPAD should not replace good teaching nor be the sole teaching tool. It should help us THINK about, analyze, demonstrate knowledge etc. but not simply absorb material.
6) Get to know your IT folk! But also familiarize yourself with the techie side of the iPads, Wifi, Syncing and a host of other techie information and tasks as needed. I found I had to learn a great deal more than I had anticipated. Still learning by the way.
7) Understand how apps are purchased and how a .99 App can get very pricey when put on every iPad. Search out those fabulous free Apps! Test drive an app 1st.
8) Find like minded people to share and collaborate with if possible!
9) The Jiggle- You can organize your apps easily into folders. This was such a big hooray for me! I love to be organized. Just tap & hold on an app until it starts to jiggle. Drag one app at a time onto another app to create a folder you can then name. Name or rename folders into categories to keep it all organized. I like using folders for the children and have have created many math, language arts, book making, story telling, choice, typing etc... I have also created a DO NOT TAP folder...so far it is working ;-) I can place folders on the DOCK as well. This increases how many commonly used apps are very easy to get to.
10) Double tapping the home button opens up the multi-tasking dock along the bottom of the screen. This lets you see recently used apps & you can toggle between them. While in this multi-task dock, if you hold the apps down so they are jiggling, you will get a red bar on each app. Clicking this closes down the app totally, which can be useful if the app has frozen or needs restarting. BUT it does NOT delete the App.
11) Take a screen shot by holding down the power button and home button simultaneously quickly. You should hear the camera click & the screen shot is now in your camera roll.Wonderful.
12) SET up your own free DROPBOX account- You get up to 2GB free. Needed for many apps and a nice way to get photos, documents etc to all the iPads.
1) Children learn quickly and fearlessly when it comes to technology. Enjoy and relax your control. Trust in their learning process it is awesome to watch.
2) BACK UP plans! Be prepared for glitches- wifi down, batteries low, updates installing, missing apps etc. It happens.
3) Let the students explore and get comfortable with the iPAD before using it with lessons. It motivates them and gets that excitement a little bit out of their system.
4) Talk & use the same language, vocabulary and terms. For example, everyone calls the home button the "home button" sounds silly but if everyone uses the same vocabulary giving and following directions is much easier! I say " Home button, power button , apples down, hands and eyes." works well.
5) Content VS Creativity. To use the iPAD as an electronic work sheet is not taping into its full power.
6) EMAIL- I created a gmail+1 account for each iPad ( thus each child) which also sends a copy of any email from that iPad to my main gmail account. I made the password for all of us the same thinking of simplicity here. Each iPAD also generates an email signature the children cannot change that reads 'from iPadRice1' ( or iPadRice2 etc.) so now I have that piece of helpful information - no matter who they email I will know.
7) Listen to the kids- they pick up things so quickly and easily. They have taught me and I have been open to it. They love to be an expert and teach the teacher and with the curiosity of a 9 year old they adapt and learn rapidly. Oh to be 9 again ! I am learning to be flexible and release my control and trust the learning process. It is amazing. I know this was also my #1 but it was and is an important reminder. It was a shift for me.
8) Think seriously about online security for kids. Great links below to start teaching and having this discussion with your students.