Another useful tip! OOOPS
What Can you do with an iPad?
Think beyond entertainment and game playing, iPADS are so much more! Ipads are NOT computers. They enhance computers maybe & are powerful personal devices which allow for differentiation, innovation, creativity, flexibility. The iPads power is in its ability to be used on demand as well as for planned events/acitivites. They provide numerous avenues for children to show what they have learned by incorporating the camera, video, annotating and interactive white board apps etc. They provide visuals and an interactive method with quick feedback. The students are engaged due to its hand on interactive capabilities. All the modalities of learning are available which allow for deeper learning. The classroom iPad can provide teachers the power to find those apps specific to their classroom needs.
APPS- The iPad is more than its Apps but choosing the appropriate apps is important . There are content apps and creativity apps and it is important to make that distinction as you try to decide what apps are best for your students or you as a teacher. I prefer apps that are flexible, free and provide my students many ways to demonstrate their learning. While content apps are great for those times you want students to practice a skill in an engaging way or for early finishers, I find the creativity apps the most appealing as they allow students to go deeper with their learning and provide them multiple ways to use all their learning modalities. For me, it has increased my understanding of how my student think , know or need work on.
Learn & explore an iPAD, & use apps before using them with your students. Experiment, watch videos & tutorials, search out blogs, meet a teenager who uses an iPAD for school work for lunch ( yup, I did that ) . Watch children use iPhones, iPads etc. I noticed quickly that children approach the iPAD in a much different fashion than I did. Very interesting. Become a digital learner don't read all the directions ( sometimes there are none anyway...) Learn to explore. Be curious.
LINKS THAT I FOUND HELPFUL
iPad Bootcamp for Teachers
Excellent resource for all !
iPAD in schools- Live binder
Teaching Like it's 2999
Basic Ipad Technology
Become familiar with the basic button , dock & search functions.
There are so many iPad tutorials out there to assist the iPad user on how to set up the iPad settings, navigate among apps, organize apps into folders, paste a link onto your home page, manage, sync iPads etc. I started with Apple's tutorials but soon had to branch out. If you are new it is a steep learning curve especially if you are a PC person like I was! ( I was given a Mac Book as well) Don't reinvent - tap into people who have already blazed this developing path.
Online Security for kids and More
Protect Kids online is a fabulous first step in thinking about the risks & issues regarding children's safety, responsibility and making good decisions online . Excellent resource for parents and teachers.
Protect Kids Online
ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE
Each iPad has its' own numbered wallpaper.
1. Each one of my iPads are numbered on the small APPLE icon on the back by our IT department. But I wanted something easier to see from a distance to ensure each child had their own assigned iPad. So , because I assign each student a number for the year they work only on their corresponding # iPAD. I then made a numbered wallpaper background as well for each iPAD. ( EASY to do & see! )
2. I found that my students could check out their iPAD from the cart 'garage' but struggled 'parking' them. Parking an iPad involves placing the iPAD in the cart in a specific orientation and attaching the charging cable from an odd angle. The way the cart is built makes this challenging for many. I had to keep going back to turn them around and plug them in....often. So, I bought small bins that held 4 ipads each & where the students can 'park' their iPADS when done. I also bought numbered chord identifiers to place on each cable to ensure the correct cable went to the correct iPAD. I or my aide 'Park ' the iPADS into the cart. It is wonderful!
Develop classroom systems & directly teach expected iPad rules & basic iPad functions. My students each have their own iPAD license. They had to pass a basic iPAD skills tests and demonstrate knowledge of the procedures to earn their license. This license can be suspended or even ( gulp) revoked. They sign a contract and I use my license wall as a visual to who has an iPAD checked out as well. I also set up numbered bins to park their iPads.
1) SYNCING was and can be a BIG frustrating hurtle. We ( 6 teachers in my SD) were each given a class set of iPADS, a syncing and charging cart , a Macbook to manage the iPADS & Apps, Apple TV, an Itunes account with a small budget, and the freedom to learn. ( That was such a gift.) Managing iPads is important and learning how to push out apps, manage photos, ebooks, etc was challenging for us. Here is a very helpful article on SYNCING with a Bretford cart using iTunes. I found I had to experiment and search out other teacher blogs as well. I started with this article which was helpful starting place:
Bretford iPad Sync Cart Setup Suggestions
Then I searched out other blogs, websites as I still ran into frustrating problems. I finally developed my own hybrid series of steps which worked and kept all my student iPads the same and the Apps in their folders.
Synching with iTunes
2) Pay attention to the settings on each iPAD- for example I turned off all 'in app purchases", I set up each iPad with a gmail account and set it up so that any email sent from the iPAD would also come directly to me, I developed a specific iPAD signature, set up DROPBOX ( or similar cloud storage) on each iPad etc. Learn and research how/where Apps share the student work. Each App is different in this regard and this is a challenge.
A good link to this and more ideas is HERE.
3. Sharing student work is a HUGE topic . Understanding workflow of individual Apps & file organization ( or lack of) is daunting as each App is different. More to come on this huge topic.
4. Develop classroom systems- My students each have their own iPAD license. They had to pass a basic iPAD skills tests and demonstrate knowledge of the procedures to earn their license. This license can be suspended or even ( gulp) revoked. They sign a contract and I use my license wall as a visual to who has an iPAD checked out as well. I also set up numbered bins to park their iPads.