As mobile devices and digital technology inundate our school buildings, consider some of these procedures to ensure a smoother implementation.

  • Set user expectations. Establish procedures regarding the use of the iPad. (Download an editable example.) After discussing proper etiquette, modeling appropriate behaviors, and acquiring parent signatures, issue each student an “iPad license.” If a student does does not follow the policy, his iPad license is revoked until further review. (Students can house their licenses within their reading notebooks, or purchase cheap badge holders for them to wear during literacy stations so you can quickly see who is eligible for technology and who is not.)
  • Catalog each device. Keeping tabs on all devices within your classroom is a necessity. To track each iPad, set the wallpaper image to be a number that corresponds with a student. This enables teachers to simply touch the home button and know precisely whose iPad it is and if all are accounted for. (To the right, view a step-by-step tutorial on how to add the number wallpaper option.)
  • Store & charge iPads. If you do not have an iPad cart to store the class set of devices, check out this innovative idea! Purchase a dish rack, set it near an outlet, and add a couple of power strips inside the basket. Students then line up their iPads within the plate racks and charge them all in one location. Genius!
  • Create shortcuts. Students can access frequently-used websites more quickly if you create a visual shortcut and add it to your home screen. (To the right, view a step-by-step tutorial on how to do this.)
  • Address appropriate volume. Since many apps and sites are multimodal and require sound, earbuds are a must-have for each student. Look to add earbuds to future school supply lists. You’ll also want to educate students about an acceptable volume level. Check out How Loud is Too Loud? and What’s that Sound?
  • Monitor student activity. You can quickly view what apps students have open by double clicking the home button at any time. Another option is to lock students within a single app.(To the right, view a step-by-step tutorial on how to do this.)

For more technology tools and resources follow Nadine Gilkison (Smekens Education Digital Resource Designer) on or @nadinegilkison on Twitter.

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