Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1:1 iPads launched in Kindergarten today

The kids were so excited last week when they saw the iPads in our classroom on the first day of school. I had hoped to have them ready for the first day of school, but priority wise it was not too high. Any K teachers... you know what I mean! Survival is #1 the first days of K! So today was our third day of school and I finally got the 20 iPads all synced and ready to go. I wish syncing was easier... I would do a 'first days' version and a 'all the apps' version.

I'd promised that they could use them today, but due to an assembly, I had less time to introduce them. Instead of introducing them in smaller groups I condensed and had the whole group in a circle and let them 'go' for a few minutes. About 85% got them on and used the slider to get to the dock and folders without assistance (INTUITIVE- love it). The rest figured it out soon enough and I encouraged peer coaching. If I had it to do over I'd probably have them at their tables- they could sit on their hands during instructions!

After a few minutes of exploring I guided the kids briefly through writing their name with Sketchio and using math and reading skills with Teach Me Kindergarten. Afterwards I directed them to use an app from the dock only.

During playtime I let them choose the iPad- 19/20 chose to play on them. One child cried when her mom picked her up early. Many of the kids kept using TeachMe: kindergarten even when they had the chance to play something else. At the end of the day, several kids tried taking them home.


  1. I am so jealous of your classroom set! I currently have one in my room. What do you suggest is the best way to use it? I am also looking at 'showing' I would like a class set. Any suggestions?

  2. Melissa,

    Repeat to self: it all starts with one... Congrats on one lonely iPad. I understand the frustrations and joys of having limited Ipads... one or a few is better than none, but...

    So, first of all, get a good cover and a screen protector. One scratch is all it takes to make your shiny iPad sad and old looking, Secondly, consider, is this a teacher tool or a class toy or both? How would you have kids share a high demand option? Have a sign up list, limit time spent on, limit apps for kids to the REALLY GOOD ones. Use the dock as the kids area if you're sharing it with them. It makes it easier to limit their choices.

    Thoughtfully consider which kids will benefit from which apps and use it as an independent work center for skill development.

    YES, by all means 'show' you want a class set. Or, like me, ask for 3 or 6 or 1/2 of what you need- baby steps. Ask families if they are buying tech toys this year to invest in ipads or ipods. Some will. Guide them towards good apps. consider encouraging a BYOiDevice program. Can you share a class set with another K or 1 class? Beg, borrow, but don't steal (!)

    An idea I've come up with from some #kinderchat talks would be assign a student of the day to use the ipad to document learning. Have them use it all day in leiu of paper, centers etc.

    The biggest drawback to a non 1:1 situation is the drama caused by having to share th devices. Try to sell it as a tool, one of many cool ones in your class and maybe it will be easier. Good luck, I hope you can get more soon!

  3. Hi DigitalKindergarten,

    I'm from Pyxwise Software and we've developed a new educational app Simplex Spelling HD for the iPad and iPhone that teaches kids how to spell the Dolch site words using a new "reverse phonics" approach.

    Our product might be a bit advanced for kids in kindergarten, but we were wondering if you still might want a promotional code to take a look at our application.

    The Pyxwise website can be found at www.pyxwise.com

    With more information about Simplex Spelling HD on our product page at www.pyxwise.com/simplexspelling.html

    You can contact me through our support page if you want to get in touch
    at www.pyxwise.com/support.html

    We look forward to hearing from you,

    Craig Welburn
    Pyxwise Software Inc.

  4. Thanks for all of your ideas, I am putting them to good use already. I love the idea of a specific student using the ipad for the day. I will try it!

    I'd love to see a video of your entire set in action! I've found some on youtube and it has sparked some ideas.

    What are the 'logistics' of having a class set? Where do you store them? How does the syncing work? Charging them?

    Thanks for your blog and awesome work. Keep it up, you have a following!


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