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!