Monday, August 1, 2016

Hello & Getting Started with iPads

Beginning a blog is something I have pondered for some time now. I often get questioned about integrating technology in my Kinder classroom.

I finally got enough courage  to start my own blog.  I have many ideas I want to share about how I’ve integrated technology in the past few years. I particularly have experience with 1:1 iPads in primary classrooms. 

Let me just say that I in no way claim to be an expert, but I am hopeful to share my findings integrating technology into the primary classrooms setting. For the past 3 years I was somewhat of a pilot class for my school/district.

I understand many classrooms are not 1:1 yet, but many teachers/districts are taking the steps to do so. I also understand that many teachers range in their abilities to utilize technology, much less integrate it into a classroom beyond using a few apps here and there. I am hopeful you find some ideas here that a beneficial to you and your students.

Here are a few pieces of advice for implementing any technology in your classroom.

-Have a consistent way to share files, images, and videos with your students, I would also recommend having a consistent way that students turn work back in to you.  (Seesaw, Showbie, Classkick)


-label EVERYTHING I have placed vinyl decal numbers on each of my iPads (see below). At this time I do not have a fancy cart to house or charge my devices. So what did I do? I placed labels on a rolling 10 draw cart and zip tied chargers through the back. I know...but it works!  Student are assigned a number for the year. If an issue should arise I know exactly who the iPad was used by. I will also offer students a place to store their ear buds. 

-MODEL, MODEL, MODEL, before students engage in using a piece of technology.  Place reminders/bulletin board around your room about  appropriate use and consequences if technology is  not used properly.

I have my students/parents sign an agreement about the use of technology in our classroom. Keep a log of EVER mishap, just in case.

-Plan ahead. We all know  how we can have a love/hate relationship with technology. Make sure you have a backup plan just in case the internet is not working properly, devices take longer than expected to load update, etc. It is also beneficial to have students know what to do should something go wrong in an app or they have a question. I will implement “Techspert” badges for students who can be sought after by their peers for assistance. 

-Routinely go over various icons that will be used/seen in various applications. So many apps use the same icons for specific buttons to promote consistency across apps. Teach your students icons and save yourself some time explaining each icons function, allowing more time for creating & exploring. Do not assume students “know”. Keep in mind you may have a student(s) whom have NEVER used a piece of technology. Check these out. (click image below)

-If you decide to use apps/programs that require usernames and passwords have a plan in place. (log, ring of cards, sticker in binder/folder, etc.) I personally do not use any programs at this point that require my primary students to enter individual username/passwords.
-Remember that technology is a tool. Primary students still need interaction with manipulatives, various writing utensils, etc. Use technology to enhance your students learning while still covering content.

-Stick with it! At first it can be very overwhelming and time consuming to assure your students have a grasp on how to use technology, but just think of how rewarding it will be in the near future. Practice makes perfect!

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