Some Tips for Classroom Management of iPads
In our district, we have not purchased enough iPads for a true 1:1 initiative. Therefore, we need to treat the campus iPads a little differently than if each student had one all the time. every 32 ipads come with an associated Ergotron tablet management cart. Perhaps you will be getting iPads in your school. If you have received a cart of iPads and were wondering how to keep them safe during the school year, here are some tips to make sure that those devices are well cared for and don’t accidentally leave the room:
Keep Count Often!
If you start the class period with 30 iPads, make sure before you dismiss class that there are 30 devices returned. Make sure that there are 30 devices at the beginning of the next period before you hand them out. Make sure that the number of devices you have at the beginning of the day equals the number of devices you have at the end of the day.
Use the Keys
Most cabinets for iPads have some sort of locking cabinet. Make sure you use the keys to keep the cabinet locked whenever the devices are not in use. Times that the cabinets should be locked: At the beginning and end of each day and/or period. Whenever the devices are not being used, the cabinets should be locked.
One Person in Charge
There should only be one person in charge of the cart. This person is in charge of making sure that the cart has all of the devices at the beginning of the day, and makes sure that there are the same number devices at the end of the day. This person is especially important if multiple teachers will be accessing the cart during the course of a day. One person keeping track of where everything is going is important, especially when conflicts about who took what arise. This person should also have the keys that are used to open and close the park.
Have a Checkout Sheet: Other Teachers/Classes
Probably, you’re going to be sharing the devices with other teachers and other classes. So have a checkout sheet. This way you’ll be able to keep tabs on who has taken the devices out of the cart. At the end of the day make sure that you collected all of the devices and have them back into the car for charging.
Work out a schedule ahead of time
It might be useful if teachers are able to schedule the use of equipment ahead of time.
Perhaps even a regular schedule like the old labs used to use. Of course, that kind of defeats the whole purpose of mobile devices if you have iPad Wednesdays, but sometimes having a regular schedule make reluctant teachers more comfortable about using equipment,
Have only one or two students responsible for putting the iPads into the cart.
Have only select students (perhaps on a rotating basis?) be responsible for making sure that all of the devices are replaced into the carts and that the number of devices returned equals the number of devices. These student can collect from fellow students and make a note of any missing, or damaged devices. These students should give the teacher the “all’s clear” signal. These student should also count the devices BEFORE handing them out, making sure that there are the correct count prior to instruction.
One Device: One Student
Each device should be assigned to a particular student even if you have multiple classes. The carts have numbered slots, which makes it easy to assign a device to a student. Bobby is #3. His iPad is always located in slot #3. Make sure that there is a list posted near the cart so students can remember their number. You may also want to number the cord that are used to sync/charge the devices. Cord #3 goes with device #3 and slot #3. This makes it easy to see what is missing at the end of the period or day.
Lock up the Cart on a Regular Basis
The carts that we are using are small enough so that they might just fit into a storage room or large closet. If you have the ability, place the cart in a locked closet at the end of the day. Out of sight out of mind is a good idea here. This is especially important when closing the school down for holidays or longer holiday breaks.
At natural breaks in the school year (Christmas and Summer for instance), conduct an inventory of ALL the campus iPads. Check for breakage, loss, and other malfunctions, like pencils leads stuck in the earphone jack. Someone at the campus should be able to sign off on the iPads being accounted for and in working order.
Report Loss Immediately
Once it has been determined that a device has been stolen or lost, report it immediately to your campus administrator as well as to the TLI grant office. While that particular device might not be recoverable, there may be ways to replace it.
Have Students Understand that using the devices is a Privilege
Student need to understand that being a good digital citizen requires them to be good stewards of technology equipment. Good classroom management includes taking care of the equipment, just as you would have them do for any other classroom equipment. Orchestra and band teachers understand this well, so if you need pointers on how to motivate students to take care of equipment, seek them out.
Of course there are a lot more ways to take care of equipment and make sure that things are not lost. What are your tricks and tips? Leave them here!