When you have been using a set of IPADS for some time, you discover tips and tricks for using them efficiently. You also reflect upon and develop strategies for overcoming some of the frustrations that a set of non networked, but very powerful and versatile devices bring to a busy primary school.
IPADS are like any other resource they need care and systems or else they can get lost or used up quickly.
And so last week I begin to draw up a little list, which Mark Warner put onto his great Teaching Appz site, and then I discovered Simon Widdowson’s list, which is frankly brilliant and should be page one of a course handout for school technicians who are looking to deploy sets within a school.
I am reblogging them here underneath my list.
My list of IPAD Tips
- Number / label your devices and encourage children to use the same device each time.
- Teach children how to switch devices off to maximise battery life.
- Ask your children to delete any unnecessary videos or photographs from the camera roll when they have finished. This will help to save space on the device and save somebody having to do this at a later time.
- Keep a record of how the devices are being used and share ideas with your colleagues.
- Think about how the devices can be used flexibly – you may not always need all of them. Sometimes one device per group is enough.
Here is a list of tips lifted directly from Simon Widdowson’s Digital teacher Blog
After a few conversations recently regarding how we are using the iPads within school, it seems that some of the ideas we have taken to try and make their use easier other users haven’t thought about using. So, below I’ve listed a few of the bright ideas we’ve implemented;
- Set each iPad up with a unique name / number that you stick on the back as a label. That way, when pupils come back to use them they can continue working on the same machine.
- Set each iPad up with a different wallpaper image (there are 30 default images that come with the iPad) and you can always use others that you have placed in the photo album. Like above, it helps pupils find the same iPad quickly and easily at the start of a lesson.
- Set each iPad with an email address using the gmail +1, +2 trick. Create a ‘master’ account (like firstname.lastname@example.org for example). On each iPad, create an email account for schoolipads+1@, schoolipads+2@, etc. The added bonus of this is as the master account is web based – you can log into it on any machine, and see what has been sent.
- Set up a signature on each iPad that identifies it easily – for example ‘sent from schooliPad05. When you check the master email account (see above) you can trace which iPad has sent what mail.
- Set up the calendar to display any school based google calendar (if you use one), or other iCAL based calendar. It will provide pupils with access to the latest additions to the main school calendar.
- Set each iPads ‘auto-lock’ feature to around 5-15 minutes, so that if a pupil forgets to turn it off, the battery will be saved as the iPad will automatically shut itself down.
- Set up ‘folders’ to place relevant apps into so that you only have a single page to view on the iPads – this way there is no need to scroll through several pages of apps. Choose curriculum areas for the folders to make it easy for pupils to find relevant apps.
- Add apps like ‘Dropbox’ that are linked to an account where you have uploaded a range of CC images. These images can then be used in any work they are doing that allows importing of images (simply save the dropboxed image onto the iPad as a photo)
- In addition, use the photo album feature to create albums of images relevant to tasks being carried out so that pupils have a local source of images to use in their work.
- For Pages, Numbers and Keynote, create a school based iWork.com account. Work created can then be exported from the iPad and stored online, and accessed from any machine that can log into iWork.com
- Visit your school website via the iPad, and create a bookmark on the Homescreen that makes it easy for pupils to one click to the school site.
- Don’t forget that the bar at the bottom of the iPad can actually display up to 6 icons – use this feature to place commonly needed apps there to make them easy to find and use.
- Use the iPod within the iPad for Podcasts, or Vodcasts. There are many useful educational podcasts out there, and PE based Vodcasts can be extremely useful too during PE lessons.
- And here is a recent ‘must do’ passed onto me by @timdifford. Go into ‘settings’ –> ‘General’ –> ‘Restrictions’ and set “Deleting Apps” to OFF. Now pupils cannot accidentally remove apps from an iPad.
- Find your school / establishment mail server details, and when you set up the mail accounts on each iPad (see point 3 above), add the SMTP details of the school network as a ‘secondary server’. This means that you should be able to send mail from within the school without problems.