What is the purpose of having iPads in the classroom? In my experience, using engaging lessons and thought-provoking assignments to change the way instruction looks in our classrooms is the sought-after result.
The truth is that it takes time to get there. And work.
But it’s worth it, and it’s really fun once you accept the iPad for what it is and fully understand what it is not. The iPad certainly does not replace good teaching.
Here are three things you can do to move quickly to the fun.
- The iPad cannot do everything a computer can. It is great for:
- creating using apps
- sharing information
- skills practice
- Move around the room.
- Move student desks so you can walk around easily. Long rows are usually not the best.
- Walk around as you teach. It is the most effective classroom management tip for schools with 1:1 iPads.
- You don’t need to know how to use all the apps and tools on the iPad.
- You are a content area expert, not an iPad expert. No one should expect you to be an iPad expert.
- Find an app you like and know how to use. Practice with it. Use it daily. Don’t worry about using lots of apps. Use the one or two you really know that fit your style and class content. Then add some more later.
- Let the students choose what apps to use when you want them to demonstrate knowledge. As long as they can provide evidence of learning, what difference does it make which app they use?
- Let the techie student teach you and other students when they find an app or functionality that works well for your class.
- Be open to learning from your students. It makes you more accessible and creates another connection between you and your students.
- Use the most tech-savvy students to help you and others. They are usually glad to do it, and it benefits them as well as the rest of the class.
The real crux of the change is that you have to let go of controlling some things while maintaining control of others. It’s a balancing act. Teachers have always had to balance multiple things. You can do this, and you’ll actually have fun! After all, you are a great teacher.
These three things touch on the great advice out there for new 1:1 iPad classrooms. If you have deployed iPads in your classroom, use the comment area to share other tips you would add to the list.