September 25, 2012

Techy Tuesday

I have an addiction to iPads. I think they are the single most exciting tech tool in classrooms today. 
I am discovering way to use them and manage them everyday!

Last school year, I had one iPad my husband bought for me to use. 
(And it went straight to the classroom!) 
This year, we have 3 iPads, 2 iPod Touches, and an old iPhone we use an an iPod Touch.
This is a picture example of my iPad station in my classroom with devices, mats, and headsets ready for student use.
I get two questions a LOT.
1. What are some great app? 
I have a list of our favorites on my blog under the page "Apps I Use."

2. How do you manage those devices?
This is an evovling process and I am NOT perfect at it. I learn and change 
and try and change
and try again and change.
A. One thing I find to be important is to assign devices. Some apps have assignment slots for students to play over a period of time and collect prizes and build on skills. Each student has to be entered into the app and know how to log in. All use a name and some even allow a students' personal photo. Some apps are open and anyone can "play" that game or work on that skill, but assigning devices will not hinder these games either.

Here is an example mat I created to help my students, which can not read, find their device. This mat is for a black iPod labeled C. (See below about labeling devices.) I would add a student photo and name to each box. This mat would be under the iPod C for easy student use. (I couldn't use a completed mat with actual names and pictures for safety reasons.) During small groups, each student HAS to go to their device.

B. Label Devices- I added numbers or letters to my backgrounds to label devices. I have my iPads as numbers and my iPods as letters. Last year I had color coded devices. I had a black iPad and a white iPad. This year I have awesome Otterboxes that hide the iPad colors. 
You can download my FREE numbers and directions to label your devices{here.}

C. Organize your Apps.- as your list of awesome apps grows... and it will very quickly... you will need a way to show students where they will need to go. I use to think starting the devices on that app was enough. I should have known better... they are going to exit out of the app at some point. I needed to SHOW them how to get back.  I organized all my iPads to have the exact same apps in the exact same place and organized by skill. Page 2 is assigned games, Page 3 is reading games, Page 4 is sight word games, Page 5 is math games, and Page 6 is Handwriting.

Then, I took a screen shot of each page and printed it out. (Can you see the #1 in the background of the picture? That shot was taken on device 1.) I put the pages in a page protector with ring binders. I can easily circle the app I want them to use on top of the page so they can find their way back to it if needed. 

Why did I choose a page protector? I am going to have to take and print new screen shots as I add or take away apps. This was an easy way to protect those pages while I used them and allows none of the sheets to get lost. 

D. Let them work, then let them play. I set a small timer by their devices. During small groups if they stay on the game I assigned and worked hard, when the timer does off, they get 3-4 minutes of the game they choose. It is a win- win. (They do better when they KNOW you will let them play!)

E. You will need headsets. Or else you will go insane and so will they.

{Here} is a link to my Power Point presentation I gave this summer over using iPads in Education.

What questions have I missed?


  1. Thanks for all the wonderful advice. Our school is getting us 1 iPad and I am bringing one from home. I also have some very old I touches as listening centers.

  2. Exactly what I needed to read about today. Thank you for posting it.