Are you getting started with iPads in the classroom this school year? If so, you have a lot to think about from storage to safety! It can be overwhelming and frightening. But, the world that is opened up by digital classrooms is a great place to be so don’t fret. I’ve got it all covered for you here in this blog post! This is the first blog post in a series that will focus on setting up your classroom for iPads/devices, setting up student devices, using Google Classroom, Google Drive, Google Forms, internet safety, and digital citizenship. Check back for the related posts and get your classroom ready for back to school and student devices.
Let’s get started with setting up your classroom!
Classroom Setup for iPads
- The first thing you will need is a place to store and charge your iPads/devices. Ideally, your school will purchase an iPad cart. These will take up a lot of space and must be plugged in to a surge protected outlet. I keep mine near my reading table (also serving as my desk) so that I can take a quick look at safari histories as they are turned in each day. If your school does not purchase a cart, there are some great suggestions on pinterest, I really like this one as it is sturdy and will protect your cords.
- Cords can be a big problem! They get tangled and plugged into whichever device is closest if they aren’t labeled. Zip ties and duck tape can be put to use for this. Use zip ties to secure cords close to the device, then alternate at least two different colors of duck tape to wrap around each cord and number them. This helps students quickly identify their charger to help prevent tangles and confusion over “missing chargers.”
- Storing headphones (I prefer headphones, they seem to last longer) or earbuds is another issue. Here are a few ideas:
- Hopefully your iPads come with a sturdy case that includes a stand. Unfortunately, your students are most likely going to break the stands and pull off all of the pieces that can be moved to cover/uncover areas (such as camera lens cover, headphone jack cover, etc.). I came up with this solution using pool noodles to replace the iPad stands.
- It’s a good idea to set up your reading/small group table (or wherever you spend time while students are working on iPads/devices) BEHIND students. This way you can see most of the screens while you are working with small groups. Move students who have trouble staying on task into your direct viewing area.
Procedures with iPads
- Turning in iPads- You will need to have students turn in iPads daily in small groups so that you don’t have a bunch waiting to turn in. This is just part of our daily pack up routine, in which they also put away their headphones/earbuds.
- Each morning I have a couple of small task such as writing in planners and reading a passage for students to complete before getting their iPads. This keeps students from all being at the cart at once to get their iPads.
- Check iPads periodically. You will want to check in on the safari history periodically to be sure your students aren’t sneaking onto sites they shouldn’t be on. You will learn which iPads need to be checked daily and which ones only need to be checked weekly.
- Establish and enforce rules such as: no iPads on the floor, iPads in use at desks must be on top of desk,
This is the first blog post in a series that will focus on setting up your classroom for iPads/devices, setting up student devices, using Google Classroom, Google Drive, Google Forms, internet safety, and digital citizenship. Check back for the related posts and get your classroom ready for back to school and student devices.