I cannot believe I haven’t written about this yet, because I feel like my life has been pretty much Applecentric lately.
Really long story (and if you’re interested in the story you can read my principal’s blog about it here) short, my class (along with Mrs. Hong’s 5th grade class) went 1:1 with iPad minis today!
Before I say anything else, let me show you how they felt about it!
We began the day with this morning welcome screen and my kids knew they were in for a TON of fun, and also a ton of work:
After specials, we headed to the library, where we met Mr. Strecker, our district’s tech guru, who had two big ‘ole boxes of Apple goodies for us. Then we got busy.
We spent most of the next hour working on setting up the iPad so we could start using it–you know, Apple IDs, mail settings, etc. While I knew we could handle it, and we had Mrs. Hong leading the way, it’s really hard to do anything this technical with 40 5th graders! After that hour was over, we headed up individually to our classrooms, to finish our setup.
Upstairs we finished up with a trip to the App Store, where we signed in and did just enough to get them really jazzed about getting started. Then we went to lunch. Ha! (Nice, right?)
After lunch we put the iPads away for a while to work on a math assessment we needed to finish today, but did get our new friends out to scan a QR code that led us to the website where they input the answers to be graded. Couldn’t get away for very long. 🙂
Finally, as the main goals for the day, we downloaded some necessary apps (Kid Blog, Edmodo and Pic Collage) and then used them. Kiddos used Pic Collage to make a display that we put set as our lock screens–now we can tell whose iPad is whose! I wish I’d have saved some of their creations–5th graders are HILARIOUS when you put a camera in their hands and tell them to go for it. Maybe I’ll have them share them with you!
So…nothing “big” officially happened today, but here are my thoughts so far on Day 1 of our 1:1 iPad Scout:
1. I am excited. Really excited! I’ve heard many people talk about how there’s worry about kids being “plugged in” and zoning out, but I’m already thinking the opposite will be true. I know it’s only the beginning, but I LOVED what happened when we started using our Minis for real:
We’re already finding “experts”–they are teaching and learning together about what to do and how to do it!
2. I needed a plan for a safe place to keep them when they’re not in use (because no, they won’t be permanently connected to our hands), so I made tubs. I think they’ll work, and they’re cute. 🙂
3. Eventually there is a plan for kids to take their Minis home (after they participate in a Digital Citizenship workshop with their parents), but for now they’re at school. And I’m already having charging issues. Don’t really want to spend my time plugging and unplugging iPads. This is what we’ve worked out so far. I made another station just like it on the other side of the room on the windowsill:
4. My kids are ready to go 1:1 and I hope I am. I am generally tech-fearless, and am ok when I don’t know it all, and I hope I stay that way. We have a great opportunity in front of us and I want to make the most of it. We’re really lucky around here!
One more thing: be sure to read about what my kiddos thought about today! They used their Kid Blog app to tell the world about it!
So…now I need your help! What advice can you give me as I start this 1:1 journey? How do you best utilize devices with your students for the best learning? Leave a comment and help us out!