An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. -Benjamin Franklin
- How did you get the money to pay for the iPads?
My school district re-purposed funds that were originally designated for replacing computers in our classrooms. These funds were for technology modernization and rather than purchase 2 computers per class, we piloted iPads.
- iPads vs other hand-held tablets
Clearly, iPads is my answer. They are game-changers. They are versatile, easy to use, backed by Apple and there are tons of educational apps available for use. Having access to the internet is critical…these are more than just e-readers.
- How often do you use the iPads each day?
All throughout the day for a variety of activities, small group, whole group, and individual. My main focus of use is to increase achievement in literacy.
- What if the kids get tired of them or bored with them?
OK, seriously? They are not toys. They are learning tools that are essential to 21st century learning skills. If teachers teach using best practices, kids will never be bored with them.
- How do you get the work off of the iPads?
Legit question here…it’s not always been easy. We are still unable to email from the iPads. The best work around at this point for me is Simple Transfer app. Anything that can be saved to the camera roll can be transferred off of the iPad. My other option is PaperPort Anywhere. My kids can save work to their folders on the PaperPort app. I can access it, print, save or email work. I’m excited that Pages now uploads to PaperPort!
- How often do you have breakage or damage?
In 14 months of iPad usage with 3 different kindergarten classes: ZERO. They are very careful with them and I make sure we model and teach iPad procedures regularly.
- What are your must-have apps?
Ah….these change as I come into new apps. Currently, I love Montessori Crosswords (ELA), Park Math (Math), Pages, Book Creator, Simple Transfer, and Whiteboard. Oh…and Starfall. Ok, making myself stop right there.
- How often do you sync?
In the first few months of using them, A LOT. I was constantly finding new apps and was a syncing mad woman. Currently, not so much. I will sync books or photos if I want them all to have them. I use my class wiki to get work to student iPads and they then upload to PaperPort to get them back to me.
- What do you like most about iPads in the classroom?
What’s not to love? I can’t imagine ever teaching without them. They take learning to a whole new level with personalized instruction. Being able to meet each student where they are instructionally is priceless. With 25-30 students each year, I need all of the instructional support I can get. iPads make it possible to differentiate instruction every day.
- Are there any drawbacks?
As to the use of the iPads: absolutely none. The only thing that could be a drawback is the cost of apps when you multiply it out over an entire class or school. Get your PTA involved. Hold fundraisers, donate blood (kidding, sort of) whatever it takes to bring in some extra money for those apps.
So there you are…hopefully this provided some insight into using iPads in a 1:1 classroom. It can seem overwhelming, but it really is manageable. My students, even at age 5, are quite capable with these devices. The investment is worth the cost to reach every learner every day.
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