Starting an iPad 1:1 program

We started our iPad 1:1 program with our middle school students 4 years ago. If given the chance to reset and do it all over again, here are the top five things that I would make sure to do.

  1. Know why you are going 1:1 before you get to far into the process.

If you are going 1:1 to replace textbooks or as a direct substitute for existing educational technology tools, then you are wasting your time and money. iPads, and any 1:1 initiative, should transform your learning environment. It should also change the way teachers teach. Which leads me to #2.

  1.  Provide teachers planning, and professional development time.

When we first started, we gave our teachers about 5 months to prepare. It just wasn’t enough time. At that time, were one of the first schools to go with iPads in a 1:1 environment, so there were hardly any resources available. I would make sure to provide teachers with a good base of understanding of how the iPad works, with time for them to play and meet with each other on a semi-regular basis. I would introduce teachers to the SAMR model of technology integration. I would  have faculty meetings to brainstorm and rework curriculum based on using the SAMR model.  Send a few teachers to some conference or training that specifically covers iPad integration. There is so much more available to schools and teachers now.

  1. Establish a “program”.iPad program

Meaning, set up rules and guidelines that everyone adheres to. This should cover everything from etiquette to appropriate time for usage both in and out of the classroom.  The image to the right has our our current iPad policies. We review this at the end of every school year or sooner if needed. Establishing a program should also include a learning management system (LMS). An LMS will help you with consistent delivery of information to your students. We currently use Google Classroom, but there are a ton of great LMS options to choose from. Schoology, Haiku and Canvas are a few that we have tried.

  1.  Include parents and students in the process.

I am not suggesting that parents or students should make the decisions when it comes to implementing changes at your school. However, they are voices that need to be heard. If you can’t reasonably answer most of the parental concerns then you might want to rethink what your are doing. The student voice is also important, since they will be the ones carrying around these little powerhouse devices. They should be part of how the devices are going to be used at school. There is no better way to get student buy in than to have them be part of the process. Our student government plays a major role in establishing the policies that were created for our iPad program.

  1. Establish a Digital Literacy class for both teachers, students and parents.

Contrary to popular belief, young people are not digital natives. If they were, then they wouldn’t make so many mistakes in online spaces. This class will help you establish a baseline of skills that the teachers all know and can expect the students to be able to use in their classroom. The skills can range from how to manage the storage on your device to what is the best workflow for turning in work to digital citizenship.

I could go on for days. What do you think are vital and important for establishing a 1:1 program? What am I missing?

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Essential iPad skills in our Middle School iPad 1:1 (according to the 7th grade)

IMG_4640After a semester of co-teaching our middle school students in a new class, Digital Literacy, I decided to get some information from the 7th graders. The question: what are essential iPad skills that you need on a daily basis at school? Here is the list.

  • How to use more than app at a time
    • Shortcuts, multitasking gestures
  • Navigating homescreen
    • Organizing apps into folders
  • Typing on a touchscreen device

  • Copy/paste

  • Force shutdown or reset of iPad

  • How to use note taking apps

  • Shutting down iPad

  • iCloud backup/management

  • Taking pictures

  • Screen shots

  • Communication
    • Email
    • Contacts
    • Messages app
  • Settings App – manage settings
    • Set passcode
    • Brightness
    • Screen orientation lock
    • Do Not Disturb
  • Password management

  • Closing apps

  • Using GarageBand
    • Create original music
  • Using Pages
    • Word processing
  • Using Keynote
    • Create presentations
  • Using the Calendar

  • Navigate App store
    • Downloading apps, music & books
    • Update apps
  • Control Center in IOS 7 (slide up)

What other skills do you think are essential? How many of these skills have you mastetered?

How do you use your iPad?

Essential iPad Apps in our Middle School iPad 1:1 (according to the 7th grade)

After a semester of co-teaching our middle school students in a new class, Digital Literacy, I decided to get some information from the 7th graders. The question: what apps are essential to your life and education at school? Here is the list.

IMG_4648

Annonymous 7th graders in action, supervised by Ms. Van Alstyne.

Notability – digital note taking app. (price $2.99)*

Box – access to Box.net cloud storage. (free)

Pages – word processing/publishing software for iOS. (free with iOS 7)

iMovie – movie editing software. (free with iOS 7)

Gmail – access to student email accounts via Google app. (free)

Google Drive – access to Google Drive cloud storage for editing, collaborating and sharing work. (free)

Keynote – presentation creation software. (free with iOS 7)

Destiny Quest – our library catalog and book reservations. (free)

QR Reader – for scanning QR codes. (free)

Canvas – access to learning management system by Instructure.Canvas (we are currently piloting this LMS in middle school). (free)

Safari – web browsing and research. (free, built into iOS)

GarageBand – music creation and editing. (free with iOS 7)

Blio – book reading app. (free)

Meraki MDM – our mobile device management app, let’s manage the iPads and distribute apps. (free)

Educreations – a simple white board and screen recording presentation app. (free)

Adobe Ideas – for drawing, mind mapping, note taking, annotating pdfs and doodling. (free)

Free Graphing Calculator – self explanatory. (free)

Facetime – video conference and chatting service. (free, built into iOS)

iBooks – book reading app. (free)

Messages formerly iMessage – instant messaging service built into iOS. (free, built into iOS)

App Store – the place where all of the apps come from. 🙂 (free, built into iOS)

The next question I asked: what are essential iPad skills that you need on a daily basis at school? Check back for the answers.

*Many paid apps are eligible for a discount through Apple’s Volume Purchase Program.

I wrote this post originally for the Allendale Columbia School blog – ACSRochester.org.

12 Days of App-mas: Reflector

In the spirit of the holidays we will bring you 12 Days of App-mas. Each day we will offer an app for education. We will  offer suggestions for how the app can be used in a class. Comment with the ways you have used these apps.

App: Reflector .dmg Download from the Air Squirrel Online Store
Cost: Free Trial – $12.99 for the full version
Description: Reflector is an AirPlay receiver that allows you to wirelessly display your iPad or iPhone on your computer. Mirror your device on a big screen without wires or complicated setups. Play games, watch movies, demo apps or present on the big screen from your iPhone or iPad. With Reflector, everything you do on your mobile device is wirelessly streamed to your computer in real time!

Reflector is not an app that you need to download onto your device but rather an app you download to your computer to wirelessly project your iOS device. Once you download the application to your computer you will be able to use AirPlay (built in to all iOS devices).

The great thing about Reflector is that students can project what they are looking at on their iPad to your computer. You could also connect your computer to a projector to give iPad instructions.

12 Days of App-mas: Notability

In the spirit of the holidays we will bring you 12 Days of App-mas. Each day we will offer an app for education. We will  offer suggestions for how the app can be used in a class. Comment with ways you have used these apps.

App: Notability Download from the App Store
Cost: $2.99 *40% apple editor’s choice *
Description: Welcome to Notability, the best-selling note-taking app on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Notability is so powerful that it will transform how you work: sketch ideas, annotate documents, sign contracts, complete worksheets, keep a journal, jot travel notes, teach a class, make a presentation and much more. With iCloud support, your notes stay up to date on all your devices!

Write, illustrate and annotate using gorgeous retina ink. Notability’s zoom window helps you quickly and clearly draw every detail, while the palm rest protects your notes from unwanted marks. Choose the right pen and paper for any project. 

Import forms, contracts, worksheets, documents, presentations, and even books; then use the same tools that help you take beautiful notes in Notability to mark up PDFs. Do you have files in other formats such as doc or ppt? Notability can import these too thanks to Google Drive.

Type an essay, create an outline, fill out an application, or make a list with Notability’s advanced word processor. Choose a font, style, color, and size that enhances your work. Even place text exactly where you want using text boxes. 

Record lectures and meetings, your own voice practicing a speech, or help a child learn to read with a recording. Also, audio recordings are an excellent review tool as they are linked to your notes; during playback, tap a word or picture and hear what was said at that moment.

Finding information quickly is an important part of note-taking. Use search to quickly locate notes by title or content. On iPad, bookmark pages of a note, filter a PDF by annotated pages, or search your note for a keyword in the page navigator.

Organize your notes by subject in the library and automatically backup all of your work to Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, or webDAV. Also, use these services, plus email, Airdrop, and twitter, to share your Notability files with colleagues, classmates, students or teachers. iCloud will ensure that all of your notes are automatically up to date on your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

Notability gives life to your ideas, stores your notes, and improves your memory and organization. We hope you enjoy using it as much as we do.

12 Days of App-mas: Baiboard

In the spirit of the holidays we will bring you 12 Days of App-mas. Each day we will offer an app for education. We will  offer suggestions for how the app can be used in a class. Comment with ways you have used these apps.

App: Baiboard Download from the App Store
Cost: Free
Description: Create, Share and Collaborate your education content.

Synchronous and Asynchronous collaboration – 
1. Zoomable multi-page whiteboard.
2. Collaborative annotation on PDF docs.
3. Screen Sharing from iPad to web browser.

12 Days of App-mas: Duolingo

In the spirit of the holidays we will bring you 12 Days of App-mas. Each day we will offer an app for education. We will  offer suggestions for how the app can be used in a class. Comment with ways you have used these apps.

App: Duolingo Download from the App Store
Cost: Free
Description: Learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English. Totally fun. Totally free.

I have used this at home with my daughters and they both enjoy playing the “games” while learning. We have introduced the app for students in both middle and lower school as a supplement to their classwork. Students can learn at their own pace and move ahead by testing out of the different sections. Duolingo also supports Google Apps For Education so our students can use their school email to create an account.