"I'm gonna tell my mama, 'I got me an iPad!'" commented one excited kindergartener this past week during student iPad orientation. Fairview Elementary is all abuzz with excitement about the 45 iPads (and more on the way) now available for teachers to checkout to use in the classroom.
After reading endless blogs about how other schools are using iPads in the classroom, hours of training alongside our school's tech support team on how to manage sets of iPads and iPad carts and many, many meetings of how to best manage and implement the iPads in our school, they are finally ready for checkout! Whoooo-hooo! What we've learned so far: consistent training is the key.
We began with iPad training sessions for the teachers.While a few of our teachers have iPads of their own, many had never used one. So, we began at the beginning and covered everything from how to turn it on and adjust the volume to how we can utilize specific apps to support creating, comparing, contrasting, analyzing and skill building in the classroom. Then we turned the teachers loose to just play with the iPads on their own. Teachers began checking out iPads for a week at a time to get more comfortable with them and to become more familiar with apps they would like to use to support classroom instruction and student projects. Teachers began to share with each other favorite apps that they can't wait to use in the classroom. Apps that provide opportunities for students to create, such as the Sock Puppets app, quickly became staff favorites.
Teachers were asked to sign up their classes for student iPad orientation in the media center before they were allowed to check out iPads to use in the classroom. This way, all students in the school were given the same lesson on how to take care of the iPads, our school iPad rules, and were able to practice skills needed to use the iPads including the following:
- how to turn on the iPad
- locating the home button
- adjusting the volume
- "swiping" through pages
- pinching and spreading fingers to zoom in and out
- locating apps
- how to take a picture (3rd-5th grades)
- acceptable use policy (we used the same one we use for internet on the computers)
- responding "no thanks", X, or "cancel" to popup windows (No thanks, we don't want to buy anything-We have no money! No, we don't want to connect to Facebook.)
- and the number one student iPad rule at our school: Keep the iPad on your desk (or floor). Students are not allowed to carry the iPad anywhere. (Don't carry the iPad to your teacher. Go get your teacher and bring her to the iPad if you need to show her something.)
So now our teachers are trained. Our students are trained. The iPads are ready for classroom checkout. I can't wait to see how they use them and what they teach me! Stay tuned...