Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Finally, 10 iPads Arrive in My Classroom

Last autumn I applied for a technology grant through my district to introduce 10 iPad’s into my classroom.  The primary objective is to increase student achievement in literacy.  While I was writing the grant the question or main idea that was in the front of my mind was how can I prepare my readers for the 21st century?  I love books.  I get excited opening a new book, looking at the side to see how much further I needed to go to finish, and nosily looking at what others are reading.  I didn’t own an e-reader (that has changed) and wasn’t sure whether the e-reader is just an expensive toy.  I do know that my reservations could not get in the way of preparing my students for the future.

Fast forward to Friday. (Actually given how long it took to get the iPad’s slow forward!)  The iPad’s arrived in my classroom.  Excitement was in the air and there was giddy anticipation of what was to come.  I had sent home an agreement form stating “I (student’s name) will…. Basically use the iPad correctly and not look for games. I spent all day Sunday setting up the iPad’s and getting them ready to use. When I walked in to school not one of them connected with the schools system, so I spent yesterday afternoon redoing most of what I did on Sunday. 

The iPad is such a new tool in education that our tech department hasn’t planned for questions that are going to come up.  At first I was REALLY annoyed!  I mean how could they not have thought through how students were going to connect to the Internet, or how to easily download apps from iTunes?  Well, a funny thing happened on the way to annoyance, I realized I hadn’t even planned what books I was going to download first!!! Yes, you read it right.  An expensive tool for literacy I don’t have a list prepared of books to download. 

I basically need to build a classroom library from the bottom up.  If you have any ideas let me know!


Ms. Yingling said...

Are you working through Nook, Kindle, or both? The biggest problem I have seen with all of these devices is that you have to tie them to a credit card, and if you untie them, you lose the titles. We had one iPad donated, and I haven't found a good use for it yet. There are a lot of free titles on both the Nook and Kindle store. I'll try to think of a list to send you.

Marcie said...

I use a whiteboard for diagrams such as seating charts, or for kids to create character webs etc. I wanted one that had text and acted as a drawing tablet. There are lots of free ones, but I spent 4.99 for Whiteboard HD and am happy with it. I couldn't find a free one with easy to add text, shapes, and drawing.

Mary Lee said...

Get the Kindle App and download (for 99 cents) Poetry Tag Time.

For our school set of iPods, we have one laptop that is the designated syncing computer. Apps are bought on that one laptop and then downloaded to all the pods. Beyond that, I'm not sure how it all works!

Have fun!!

Melissa Taylor said...

I just found your blog and can't believe I didn't know about you sooner. HI! I'm also in Denver - and am a former teacher, now a freelance writer. I blog at http://imaginationsoup.net

And, now to your question-- iPad books you might check out the new Nancy Drew book and game, Dinotopia, and How to Train Your Dragon.

Nice to meet you!