What We’re Reading: iPad management in the classroom

Tips and tricks from around the edtech world

iPad management in the classroom
Image by Wes Fryer (CC 2.0)

Successful and powerful integration of iPads in the classroom depends in no small part on keeping device management, well, manageable.

Here’s a quick look at how edtech folks are tackling the nuts and bolts of keeping track of, making best use of and not being made crazy by, iPads in the classroom.

1. TechChef4U’s 15 tips on how iPad management = classroom management

Lisa Johnson, aka @TechChef4U has put together this Haiku Deck illustrating not just practical ideas for iPad management in the classroom, but also defending the idea that successful iPad management depends on successful classroom management. A great collection of solid, practical tips that will make both iPad and classroom management easier.

2. iPad hacks! (The good kind)

Jennie Magiera (@msmagiera), whose fabulous blog Teaching Like It’s 2099 you undoubtedly follow, has written a series of blog posts on iPad management in the classroom, as well as how she used the power of grant-writing to secure funding for the 32 iPads she uses in her classroom.

Color code your iPad cases for easy 1:1 access

We have 5 students at each table and have assigned each seat a color. Each table has five differently colored iPads, and so when a student in seat “red” reaches for an iPad he or she doesn’t need to rummage through the bin; they can easily see the red case and get “their” device. This helps for apps that save data on the iPad (Pages, Keynote, etc.), ensuring that the student gets the same iPad each time.

Other tips: create shortcuts to frequently visited sites, use numbered desktop backgrounds to easily locate a particular iPad and create differentiated folders for apps. Check out the rest of her useful workflow tips — uh, some of which we may be in the process of implementing today with our own flock of fieldwork iPads. (Did we mention her blog is fabulous?)

3. Find a workflow with Google Drive that works for you

At Peoples Academy Middle Level, in Morrisville, Vermont, educator Joe Speers explains how, as part of their 1:1 toolkit, the middle school there has developed a consistent, powerful way of organizing student work with Google Drive.

You can also check out Peoples Academy’s full Google Site of 1:1 implementation tips for parent resources, portfolio tools and a free ebook, “The Student Guide to iPads”.

4. Physical device management is key

Grade one educator Kathy Cassidy (@kathycassidy) came up with a unique home-made solution to the birds nest of iPad wires that frequently results from iPads being stored in the same place:

iPad management in the classroom
Image by Kathy Cassidy (CC 2.0)

Ms. Cassidy also has tips on syncing, shelf storage, and most interestingly, what happened when she let her students decide on what the rest of the rules for iPad management in the classroom should be…

What tips do you find useful for managing iPads in your classroom?

Audrey Homan

Audrey Homan is a Vermont-based digital media producer, and producer of The 21st Century Classroom podcast. She's worked in non-profit communications for more than a decade, and in her spare time writes tiny video games and mucks about with augmented reality and arduinos, ably assisted by five dogs. Interviewing students and yelling in PHP are the best parts of her job.

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