Friday, April 27, 2012

Sharing the Cart

I've been talking with people in other districts with iPad carts about the best way to check out the iPads to classroom teachers.  Some teachers are thinking about checking them out when they can't get into the computer lab to use them for Internet research.  That is such a limited way of using a great resource.
One school district is checking out their carts on a monthly basis, having teachers fill out a one page proposal about how they'll use the iPads with their classes.  I'm hoping to check out our cart on a weekly basis offering support to help teachers explore apps they could use for projects.  There are so many free apps, but we also still have a bit of money to purchase some apps if needed.  One math teacher here checked out the cart, but before he did, he found about ten free math apps he wanted to use with his classes.  That worked really well, and the students were thrilled to use the iPads to work on math skills.  One caveat:  I tell all teachers to keep a list of which students are using which iPads so that we can identify the student if there's a problem.
I really think it's important to be able to offer professional development to staff if we want them to use the iPads as a productive tool with students, not just as a substitute for a laptop.  Last week I presented a one hour workshop for staff on iPad Tips and Tricks and got a really good response; they wanted more.  The great thing about the iPads are they are simple to use, but with some professional development, you can unlock more of their potential.

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