iPads in the Classroom...What do I do now?

  Girl reading on an iPad.   If you were recently granted iPads to use in your classroom and are now wondering what you will do with them, we are actually in the same boat (sorry...I hope I didn´t lead you to believe I had this one figured out). I have started investigating and planning to better prepare me, though, and I will share that with you here.
   Below are a few things that I have done that have helped me as I prepare for the following school year with iPads in the classroom.

1. Take a deep breath. You do not, and I repeat DO NOT have to figure it all out right now. Baby steps will help you maintain your sanity.

2. Define your goal, and keep it limited. For example, my team level decided we want to use our iPads for literacy. This does not mean we will not use it for other subjects, but we will focus on literacy for this school year.

3. Research: Find out what others do. How are they using their ipads? What applications do they find helpful? Search online and discover what other teachers are doing.

4. Make a plan: Now that you have a goal and have done some research, it´s time to make a plan. Writing it down will make it more concrete. Remember, your plan does not have to be concrete. Perhaps you will make changes as you go along. In your plan, include the applications you will use along with times of days students will use it.

5. Edit your plan: As you start to use your iPads in your class, reflect on what is working and what is not working. Make changes accordingly. Once you are comfortable, you can add more goals and add on to your plan. However, that comes only once you are very comfortable with what you are currently doing with your iPads in class.

Here is my own plan:

Goal: Use iPads for literacy purposes.

applications:  Bluster, iCard sort, Raz-kids, How to teach your monster to read

logistics: Use during Daily 3 reading time. Students may use as a word work activity, self-reading or read to someone.

As you can see, your plan does not have to be complex at all. The idea is to have something solid and clear, something that will make the idea of using iPads in the classroom less stressful and overwhelming.

Are you currently using iPads in your classroom or are going to start using them soon? I would love to hear about it. Leave me a comment and let me know your plan.