iPad in Hand, Now What?

I just recently been given an iPad mini to learn to use. The intent is to learn what it can do, how I use it in the classroom and when our state’s annual ed. tech. conference comes around in March I will be able to assist other teachers in its use and integration in the classroom.

Now that being said, I have never had an iPad, only just very briefly used one.  I have seen then used by others as mainly a game pad, for  note taking, surfing the web, and social media.

I have downloaded a fair number of apps (all free) that should be useful in my classroom of 3rd graders, have ones that I personally use as a teacher, games that lean to the interactive/problem solving side that my own sons like, and ones that just looked really cool…er… interesting.

As the title mentions, “Now What?” I am open to ideas, suggestions, and real world practical uses of the iPad in an elementary classroom. So I open the floor, or in this case, the comment box to share your successes, what you have learned works best, and what to avoid. Yes, your failures are welcome too. We all know that we learn from our mistakes and failures.

So, what say ye all?


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  1. Donna Criswell said:

    Hi Eric,
    I too struggled with using iPads as something more than a glorified hand-held drill tool (app after app!) until I came across this article entitled “5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make with iPads.” I think this article makes some very valid points about purpose and implementation.


    It’s not about content apps (although they have value), it’s about workflow, formative assessment, portfolio gathering… giving kids the tools to let them show what they know. I was fortunate to have been asked to help facilitate at the first iPad Summit Pre-Con.. here are links to their posted resources:


    It was an eye-opener for me…
    Enjoy the journey!

  2. Marc Young said:

    1. There must be professional development.
    2. Its not about the apps. The more apps you have the more you have to manage and that can take a lot of time. Keep the apps to a manageable number.
    3. Learn how to use Apple Configurator that is a must for purchasing apps along with a volume purchasing program.
    4. The Ipad comes with powerful tools built in: Safari browswer, and a camera and video. Also iBooks lets you store books and pdfs.
    5. Keep the: find my Ipad feature turned on in settings.
    6.Enjoy this amazing technology and wifi in the building is a must.

  3. Howard J Martin said:

    Eric, Congrats! Next to the Expendables2 movie, (a great B movie that was horrible/fun to watch), the iPad is a great tool that is sometimes horrible for me to watch being put into use. Echoing Marc, it’s not about the apps, but how teachers use the device.

    On the instructional side, I like apps that allow for the constructivist nature of the classroom. There are tons of draw apps, but do you have one that will save to the photo roll easily? I like Posterous.com’s app since students can create and share to your Posterous email for automatic posting and sharing with the whole class. A huge iPad boon is the screencasting apps. Find one you like, (Educreations, ShowMe, ScreenChomper) but have the students capture their learning demonstrations. These can also be posted to your Posterous.

    On the technical side, my headache is making this wonderful consumer device work in an enterprise system. Configurator and Casper are great tools if you have a plan for the Apple IDs that will be used on each device. There are rules with Apple Store purchasing that often confuse teachers and admins.

    We put much of our first efforts at iPad on a website that anyone is free to share and even subscribe to. Our iPad User’s group can be found at http://tinyurl.com/iugsite and I have a ‘Deployment Suggestion’ doc linked to on the far left.

    Good luck and enjoy the Mini!!

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