Friday, August 14, 2015

Back to School with iPads

Beginning the year with iPads, whether they be 1:1, small sets, or in a shared lab, is exciting!  The iPads can be an amazing learning tool, allowing you to provide your students with rich, meaningful opportunities to explore, create and share.  However, at the beginning of a new year, it can be overwhelming to know how to best introduce the devices to your students.

I love this article by Kristi Meeuwse on her site  In this article, she talks about her process for introducing 1:1 iPads in a kindergarten classroom, however, the basic ideas can be applied to many grade levels and situations.

When I introduce iPads to my kindergartners, we begin by interactively writing rules for our iPad Learning Community.  I let the students help determine what these guidelines should be.  I also have students sign an Acceptable Use Policy, and ask parents to review and sign it at our Open House in September.  The AUP that I use is from Soaring: A Teaching Blog and can be downloaded for free from her site.

As you introduce apps, it is important to remember that students don't need to know 100 apps on the first day.  Introduce them slowly and intentionally.  As you introduce them, give students time to play.  This was an important lesson learned from Desiree Caskey.  The kids need free time to explore how the app works and what the app does - many times during this exploration time, they would learn things I didn't know and anxiously shared these tips and tricks with me and the class.  When they are familiar and comfortable with the app, they will be more able to use it intentionally when given a task or purpose.

My Weebly site has a collection of resources I have found helpful while implementing iPads into my classroom.  You can also follow me on Twitter @TraciPiltz, or book me into your classroom by clicking on the link from my website.

Happy back to school!

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