Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A few answers to comments

First of all, I appreciate questions and comments...  I will try to get to them as soon as I can; sometime my job and family interfere with my bloglife :)

How much time do the kids spend with the iPads...  tough question because it varies from day to day depending on our schedule and my lessons.  Some lessons the iPad fits in perfectly, sometimes we don't need it.  It also varies from kids to kid, some get on it every chance they get, while others choose more traditional materials when given the option.  Typically though they might use them in the morning: about 20 on the dock/books (but they also write/read if they want instead).  During literacy lessons, as a whiteboard, maybe 10 minutes.  Morning choice-time varies in length, about 20 minutes (many kids choose playdough, legos, writing/crafting, etc instead.)  Reading groups from 5-10 minutes, Math as a whiteboard or practicing a skill, 10 minutes but not every day. PM choice about 25 minutes possible but again they may choose other play choices.  About and hour and a half MAYBE, if they get to school at 8 and use it every chance they get, plus structured uses.  I think 45 minutes would be more realistic on normal days. 

Logistics of using the iPads:  Big question, because how much detail do you want? A site I used a lot in the beginning was Tony Vincent's Learning in Hand.  Super good "do's and don'ts for schools."
Currently I have a Datamation Storage Cart; it's good for security, but if you don't worry about them being stolen- which has happened to some schools- it is a very expensive option.  A good storage shelf and a couple of power strips can store and charge your iPads adequately.  I charge them usually on Wednesday and Friday.  I can go a week on light use, but to guarantee they are ready I try to charge on W/F consistently.

Maintenece: Not much is needed except for syncing.  Once you upgrade to ios5 you don't need to sync to computer any more.  Occasionally an app will freeze up or the iPad will act funny; restarting by holding down the power and home buttons at the same time until the apple appears helps solve MOST issues.  My colleague has some glitches on her class iPads but I haven't experienced those same issues. I think they might have been caused by some set up options. 

Having 1:1 iPads has taken some of the "shine" off the iPads- this years group accepts them as status quo- last years group was in awe and since they had to share them for the most part they treated them better than the high school kids.  This years' group is slightly more careless- they are still good with them but sometimes forget how fragile they can be.  Some rules I insist on: you must be sitting or laying doen to play- no walking.  Hold like a library book- hug to your chest with a hand on the bottom and another on the side.  No leaving them on the floor.  Always push the home button and cover when putting them away. 

I turn off the option to delete apps; or you can teach your kids the shaking app with an X is BAD.  They should ALWAYS push the home button if that happens. 

You should be very careful which apps you load and use regularly.  There are some great free and paid apps and there are some abysmal apps- both free and paid.  Apps with adds are not good- the kids click on them accidentally and go to some random internet site.  Some ads are inappropriate for kids too.  Be sure to read descriptions carefully and look at ratings.  Unless it's free and fits a need perfectly I don't download apps with less than a 3 star rating.

Ok, falling asleep now.. I will try to answer more soon


  1. Hi, my name is Eyal and I'm the founder of
    iMagine machine™.
    I have been trying to find an email to contact you but couldn't find any so I will write here :-)

    I have came across your amazing site and was astonished to the use you are making with iPads. I believe that your "kids" would love to get to know Faces iMake-Right Brain Creativity.

    Being an open ended creative tool, I have to say we haven't received the type of Media attention we feel it deserves and getting parents to understand the educational value. 

    Perhaps we haven't yet managed to explain what's special about it. (our whole shpil is written below..) 

    We strongly believe in its Educational potential both in the classroom and at home. 
    Here is some educational love that we got:

    Washington Post Apps put us on the cover of the Printed Weekend edition - http://www.washingtonpost.com/todays_paper?dt=2011-12-04&bk=Y&pg=1
    Apple picked it for New and Noteworthy.
    We were in top 10 educatioal iPad apps in 30 countries and we are now in the What's hot in Education
    Parent's Choice Awards gave our iPhone version a Gold Medal for being the most creative app they have ever seen.
    Apps4kid.net - say that - "This is an all-time TOP 10 ESSENTIAL app to have on your iDevice! -
    Teachers with apps gave it rave reviews.
    Daniel Pink did notice it and gave it a nice recommendation in his Blog. 

    Hoping you'll find it engaging and worthwhile as well.

    Please let me know if you need a code.

    All the best


    eyal at imaginemachine dot com

  2. question about synching multiple iPads with iOS5 without a computer. we are getting 24 iPads for our entire school (yes, not enough to make much of a difference, but it's a start) and we thought we needed a mac to synch them. i was going to bring mine from home each time we needed to synch. with iOS5 can we just synch each one to the account over wifi?

    love your blog. very helpful as we plan our implementation.


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