So now your classroom has iPads… congratulations! You’ve just joined a club that only a fortunate few can boast membership of. Here are some tips to get you started:
Write down the rules: Have a list of rules that students must follow in order to use the tablets. Some examples might be:
- Always sign out your iPad.
- Keep your iPad at your desk.
- Respect the iPad as if it were your own.
- No food or drink around the iPad.
Find a clever way to keep your iPads organized: Use different colored cases or use a different number as the wallpaper for each iPad to keep the tablets organized and easy to assign. Even better, get your students involved in creating the wallpaper.
Name your iPads: Think of creative ways to name your students’ iPads. Instead of just numbers, why not keep it interesting? Are your students learning spanish? Use your newly learned spanish numbers (Uno, Dos…). Are you a Science teacher? Why not use the periodic table to name your tablets? (Hydrogen, Helium…) Make it fun!
Cases: iPads are great tools, but they are sometimes hard to handle for smaller hands. Plus, they’re expensive and can be damaged if dropped. Find useful and protective cases for the tablets. Some tablets have built-in stands, while others have carrying straps for easy use; some even have built-in keyboards. Do some research and find the best type of case for your students!
If your students are not able to take the tablets home, have a home base/charging station allocated in your classroom. Require students to charge the tablets after they are finished using them. NOVA has a new product coming soon that can alleviate the stress that comes with charging stations for many tablets. The docking device charges, syncs, and locks the iPads securely, without the hassle of cords. This product will be out soon, so stay tuned!
Set restrictions: Use the settings app to restrict what students can and can’t use without your four-digit pin. Keep them from downloading new apps and restrict them from deleting the ones you’ve already downloaded by installing the pin for access.
Stay secure: Install an app that can help you retrieve the iPad in the case that it gets lost or stolen. Apps like GadgetTrak allow you to register many devices so that if a tablet were stolen, the app would take a picture of the perpitrator and will even file a police report. If you feel even the slightest inkling towards these kinds of apps it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Teach your students how to properly use the iPad: Children these days are hard-wired to learn new technology in an instant, so will be the case with the iPads in your classroom. But be careful; they might not have learned the correct way to handle the devices, so why not start your iPad learning journey with a fun, easy way to learn about the tablet. Make a scavenger hunt that will teach your students the ins and outs of the apps you are going to use, how to take pictures and video, how to send email, and so on. If the students learn how to correctly use the tablets, they’ll be less likely to misuse or damage them!
Students of all ages will benefit from each of the steps listed above and you will, too, knowing that you’ve set your students up for success using these great tools.